Government under the Scaling Up Nutrition Programme (SUN II) in Mwinilunga district is implementing the small livestock pass on programme through the ministry of fisheries and livestock aimed at empowering communities with small livestock such as goats and chickens in order to improve the diet at household level.
Scaling Up Nutrition district coordinator Shadreck Kaluba said during a pass on session in Chibwika ward that the programme is equally aimed at providing access to a mixed diet at household level thereby curbing stunting and wasting in children under the age of two years.
“Apart from passing on from one beneficiary to another, the goal for the programme is to provide access to a mixed diet in households” he said.
Mr. Kaluba explained that the strategy is to give selected community members animals to rare and once they reproduce, the initial beneficiary passes on the seed stock to empower other community members there- by improving the access to variety of diet for the larger community.
A beneficiary William Katemba who received a female goat in early 2021, said the goat he received bore three kids which has now made him an owner of two goats and is ready to pass on to another beneficiary.
Mr. Katemba said as the goats grow and keep reproducing, his household will be able to afford goat meat adding that he will also be able to address some pressing home needs through sale the goats.
“The keeping of goats will be beneficial to my family especially the young ones who will have goat meat added to their diet, and at times when pressed for other needs we can trade a goat and address them” he said.
He thanked government for the programme and appealed for more training on proper goat management, so that beneficiaries can have maximum benefits from the livestock and manage diseases.
And receiving the goat Ruth Baila expressed happiness saying she will now be able to own livestock which will empower her economically and support her household nutritional needs and further promised to take good care of the animal.
“It will be my first time to keep a goat and I will make sure to take good care of it, I am one of the people who were trained in keeping goats” she said.
Mrs. Baila said expressed hope that the goat will reproduce accordingly and promised to pass it on when time comes for her to do so comes especially that she would have something to show for it.
She applauded the work being done under SUN II project and called for continued community sensitization on the negative effects of stunting and demystify myths around certain health conditions affecting children.