Down on the farm…
Updated: Jul 10
Animals act as investments for SIA grant partners. Families use their savings to buy goats, pigs, chickens, and even cows. Then they can sell them when they need cash. Animal manure can improve crop output and the meat, eggs, and milk can enhance diets.
In addition to being investments and a good source of inexpensive protein, chickens are also gifts. Family members may bring a live chicken to relatives when they visit. “Guests bring meat,” a friend in Malawi told us. In other words, when people come, it is an opportunity to eat meat. This boy was traveling with his parents and older sister from Kitale to Eldoret, Kenya. The chicken was under our seat in the “matatu” (12-seater van) for the long journey.
Piglets can be lucrative investments. We visited Josephat’s farm in Meru, Kenya last year and saw his sow and piglets. He is a farmer and also keeps pigs and chickens. He bought the animals as a way to diversify his investments and income. A piglet can sell for $30 in his area.
Part of the way the Manyamula COMSIP Cooperative does Sharing the Gift is by giving piglets to needy members in the community. Over 55 members of the cooperative have already received piglets.
Sharing the Gift: In the “pig pass-on” program, the cooperative raises pigs and gives piglets to poorer members.
The Manyamula COMSIP Cooperative “Pig Pass-on” project also includes goats! The cooperative raises goats together and give kids to families who could use a boost. As a cooperative with a training centre, they also teach local farmers on how to best care for goats.
A demonstration goat house sits in one corner of the Training Centre campus. The structure is elevated so that the goats hoofs will be out of the muck at night. The raised floor also allows the farmers to collect the manure to use on their farms. Goats do not need a lot of water and so are good animals to have in drought-prone areas.
Goat house with ramp up to the raised structure. Tin roofings keeps the goats dry and healthy.
Goat milk is a nutritious supplement for those with compromised immune systems.