Meat Goat Production Workshop
Goats are often utilized as sources of meat in developing nations because they are a hardy species, which require significantly less feed sources than other livestock such as cattle. Although in many parts of the world different breeds of goats are used for meat or milk that is not the case in Malawi there are few farmers with access to Boer, Nubian or Kiko genetics. Like most livestock in Malawi goats are free roamers during dry season and are often shepherded during rainy season. Therefore, breeding is not controlled or monitored.
Restore the Harvest was able to offer a Goat Management workshop that taught breeding and slaughter animal selection techniques, basic husbandry and health monitoring practices. Staff also assisted village members in developing a record keeping system, tagging all goats in the village and castrating males goats. Restore the Harvest was able to locate a Boer buck for the village to use. The addition will increase the profitably and production of future goats.
Also by partnering with veterinarians from the Malawi Department of Agriculture staff was able to provide vaccinations and veterinary care to village livestock for the first time in the village’s history. In the future advanced courses will be offered in husbandry skills and dairy goats will be introduced to the village.
Meat Rabbit Co-Op
In January we were able to launch a meat rabbit cooperative in the Mtembe Village. Through this Agricultural Entrepreneurship Project teen girls are given the chance to earn an income to support themselves and contribute to their families. Girls that are able to earn income, pay their own school fees and support themselves are far less likely to be pushed into marriage at a young age. Young women are able to learn valuable skills, gain access to educational resources and in some cases even return to school. Restore The Harvest has identified five teen girls to be the first recipients of a meat rabbit grant. One participant, Stella said “I have worked very hard not to be married yet because I want to go to secondary school. Now these rabbits will help me raise money to support my family so I do not have to get married and can finish my education.”
Prior to receiving the rabbits each girl went through a series of rabbit handling and management workshops. Each girl was given a grant for two female rabbits, one male rabbit and a rabbit hutch. They will raise the rabbits together under the supervision of our staff in Malawi. Half of the first two litters of rabbits will be used to provide grants for other young women in the area. We are praying the rabbits give girls a new hope for a happy and healthy life.