Village poultry are an integral part of rural life in Malawi. They are everywhere. Anyone in the village might own a chicken. Even an impoverished widow, with little chance of owning anything as valuable as a goat or a pig, still has a good chance of owning a chicken. Thus, improvements in production of village poultry benefit everybody in the village, irrespective of their status.
And yes, there is an ocean of opportunity to improve: control of diseases, better housing, better nutrition, better breeding, better management! In each of these aspects there are gaps and constraints where dedicated input can achieve real progress, real benefits.
It is thus obvious that focussed attention to the village poultry sector in Malawi is warranted. How then to proceed?
The story so far...
The National Rural Poultry Centre (NRPC) was formed in Malawi in early 2013 as an affiliate of the International Rural Poultry Centre, a subsidiary of the Kyeema Foundation based in Brisbane, Australia.
The NRPC exists to promote the needs of smallholder poultry farmers in Malawi and to raise livelihoods and contribute to improved nutrition in rural areas of Malawi. Presently, there is no other local organisation dedicated to village poultry.
Because village poultry are owned by people from a wide range of the poverty spectrum, improvements in health and production of village poultry provide benefits that include the poorest farmers. NRPC has adopted a keep-it-simple philosophy with an emphasis on effective support at the grass roots level.
At this time, NRPC is endorsed and supported by the Small Scale Livestock and Livelihoods Program (SSLLP Malawi). It is not an integral part of that organisation - the intention is to establish a fully independent entity as soon as this is feasible. Even before that time however, NRPC hopes to make significant steps in pursuing its aims.
NRPC aims to: