by Getanew Tesfaw
Livestock and poultry are essential to strengthen the rural economies as they are serving as supplemental income streams for communities. Especially for women, homestead poultry keeping can be a great opportunity to generate income in a rural setting. Moreover, chickens and eggs are an important source of protein and contribute to a balanced diet and keeping them contributes to the health of the soil and lawn. Homestead poultry keeping thus contributes to food and nutrition security, and fertilizer production through the phosphate-rich manure.
To support women the Guba Lafto area in Ethiopia in setting up their own homestead poultry keeping they received training in how to keep poultry, prepare chicken feed themselves, and prepare the required sheds and tools from local materials. The women where also introduced to the hatching pan. A hatching pan is a very productive tool for egg laying: it provides a comfortable place for chicken to hatch its eggs with two small containers (one for water and one for food).
This promotion of improved homestead poultry keeping aims to develop supplemental income streams, especially for women. One women for example managed to save 20.000 birr (around 340 euros). With this money she is able to buy other important items. Others are planning to save up to 100.000 birr (around 1716 euros) to start other business or reinvest in their poultry business.
By generating income and selling goods,, this also strengthens and diversifies the local economy. Merchants come daily to these kebeles to buy eggs and after the women started their business, the exchange of farmers to market is increased. This example shows how establishing a new source of livelihood can be a catalyst for a stronger and more diverse rural economy.