Rural Women Assembly Zambia Participation in the National Agricultural and Commercial Show 2017
Since 2016 the Rural Women Assembly (RWA) Zambia has decided to that the participation of its members in agricultural shows at all levels are important. Last year RWA Zambia participated in the event and were awarded the best prize for village chickens and 2nd prize for African goats. The activities are used as a platform to disseminate information regarding the contribution women make in agriculture, the importance of taking cognizant of our food systems and sustainable management of our environment. Agricultural show participation is held under the themes of climate justice and gender equality which are key areas for RWA Zambia.
Prior to the national show of 2017, RWA members were also involved in the shows at the local level. Participation took place in areas of Shibuyunji, Chongwe, Rufunsa, Mufumbwe and Lusaka district. At the community level, the intended strategy is to build a strong voice of women targeted at policy makers, local leaders, and communities through to the national level structures.
This year 2017, four Chongwe women farmers were invited to take part in the national agricultural show to exhibit at the livestock section – under the category for Free Range Chickens and the African goat. The following was exhibited at the agriculture show: 153 village chicken, 7 African goats and forestry herbs used in agriculture were exhibited.
RWA Zambia in the National Agricultural and Commercial Show 2017
The 91st Zambia National Agricultural and Commercial Show theme were: Promoting a Green Economy.
RWA Interpretation of the theme: Government commitment to financing investment that reduces the risk of environmental degradation aimed at ensuring a world that has a sustainable relationship between nature and its inhabitants.
- To advocate for the recognition of the use of indigenous knowledge as a sustainable agricultural method of farming for food sovereignty and security and to respond to the issue of global warming
- To advance RWA Zambia advocacy to high-level policymakers and the general public on the importance of rural women in agriculture.
- To build the capacity of RWA women in advocacy skills through interaction with various stakeholders during the show time.
- To promote income generation for RWA women through networking with various stakeholders on economic avenues/markets readily available for their farm products.
RWA Zambia profile and show activities were broadcasted on the national television during the entire period of the show. The coverage continued as a clip on the highlights of the agriculture in Zambia. The message covered information on climate change, indigenous knowledge, sustainable agriculture incomes and promotion of gender in agriculture.
The pavilion was visited by scholars, students, researchers, farmers, government officials which included His Excellence the Republican President of Zambia Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu. Others were networking partners working on the export of goats/sheep to Saudi Arabia secretariat and international civil society organizations interested in women activities.
The students from different high learning institutions were interested in the herbs and felt that there is need to have them documented. They alluded that their line of family generation has not shared this information with them. They requested that the records of pictures for herds would be of help to the youth to enable them to utilize the herbs.
Show Goers Discussion and Concerns
The discussions with the show goers revolved on management, disease control and increased production for both the free-range chicken and African goat. Many people spoke about the challenges in small livestock diseases prevention /control and how to ensure maximum production. The people said they were interested in this type of agriculture because of its properties of health and nutrition. They attested that meats of nowadays are negative impacting on their health because of the new technologies applied in the production system especially the use of boosters and other chemicals.
In addition, other visiting show goers said the indigenous chickens should also have their names known and documented e.g the Matalaushi (the chicken which has feathers on the legs and Kazimete the chicken without feathers on the neck. These chicken have advantages and disadvantages according to their types. The Kazimete type of chicken produces more eggs and has a high hatching rate and is also able to take good care of its chicks. It also has good defensive skills when attacked by the prey (birds that eat chicks).
FREE RANGE CHICKEN EXHIBITION
The RWA women exhibitors were happy with the market for the village chickens in the show, the price for the chicken was ranging from K30 to K100. There was a demand for hens which have chicks. The audiences were excited by one of the hens which had 21 chicks. Surprisingly, almost all the chickens were purchased by men only a few were bought by women. By end of day 1, almost all the chickens had been bought. This encouraged the RWA women to keep more chickens to generate more income.
However, sharing information on RWA mandate was key, as such the women were also exposed to other stands to gather information. In the process, RWA women had discussions with an organization working on wet look chickens to increase and spread this type of chicken to many areas in the country. Discussions are underway with the owners of the chickens for further partnership. It was also observed that there are many chicken hybrids on the market coming from outside the country but being termed as village chickens. Other observations were the turning of village chickens into layers by feeding them with layers mash.
AFRICAN GOAT EXHIBITION
A 1st prize was won on the African goat. The size and health of the goats were judged. The African goat is managed on indigenous conditions. The goat is fed on forestry products and farm crop residues such as groundnut leaves. For diseases, it is treated with forestry herbs. Ntandala the winning goat was 9 months old and was sold at K900.00 (US$ 90.00) K500.00 more than the local price. The goat was owned by Prisca Sambo of J. Village. All the other goats were sold apart from the one that had a kid at the show.
For goats and village chickens
NAME OF HERB
|Crush and put water to drink|
|Anti-biotic||Cut into small pieces and put in water to drink|
|Increased production of eggs and nutrition||Add the powder to the feed|
|Increased production of eggs||Add powder to feed|
|5||Dema||Anti-biotic||Used as a drinker|
|6||Musolo||Increase production||Crush and add to water|
|7||Namununga, Mulangali||Cure different chicken diseases||Crush and put in water|
|8||Lumpangala fruit||Increased egg production||Put in water|
- Farmer input Support Program – lobby government to encourage sustainable agriculture methods.
- Network with agro-dealers to provide indigenous small livestock and seed on the e-voucher.
- Upscale small livestock development among women rural farmers through pass on programs and seed sharing and exchange. Lobby government to support seed laws that allow these practices
*Report submitted by RWA Zambia