Family poultry development in Mozambique currently focuses on the control of ND in rural areas, the distribution of crossbred chickens and the production of broilers in peri-urban areas of the capital city, Maputo.
The implementation of an effective ND control program in Mozambique has resulted in increased chicken numbers, increased household purchasing power, increased home consumption of chicken products and increased decision-making power for women (Bagnol 2001). Despite the need to control ND in village chickens, it has been difficult to achieve a sustainable control program. Experience has shown that a sustainable ND control program is composed of four essential components: an appropriate vaccine and vaccine technology; effective extension materials and methodologies that target NGO, veterinary and extension staff as well as community vaccinators and farmers; simple evaluation and monitoring systems of both technical and socio-economic indicators; and economic sustainability based on the commercialisation of the vaccine and vaccination services and the marketing of surplus chickens and eggs.
Peri-urban production of broilers
The General Union of Cooperatives in Maputo (UGC) has a total of 5,500 members, 95% of whom are women (UGC 2001). It has been assisting members in the production of broilers in peri-urban areas. In 2001, over 2,000,000 broilers were produced. Groups wishing to produce broilers initially receive a loan to enable the construction of a poultry house, provision of a water source and equipment (feeders, drinkers, etc). The loan is granted without any collateral and its repayment, including interest, usually takes 6 to 7 years.
After beneficiaries receive basic training in poultry raising techniques and elementary rules of business management, the UGC provides credit in the form of the necessary production inputs (day old chicks, feed, poultry extension and veterinary assistance). At the end of the production cycle (6 weeks), the "commercialisation brigades" collect the broilers and send them to the abattoir or to the live bird market.
All details are recorded and once the birds are sold, the accounts are done. The credit provided for the chicks, etc is repaid and of the gross profit (the difference between sales revenues and production costs), 50% is used to repay the initial loan and the remaining 50% is handed to the producers. In the case of a producer experiencing a loss, UGC will reschedule the loan provided that adequate justification is given.
The characterisation of local chicken ecotypes
The characterisation of local chicken ecotypes is underway as is the development of a breed of laying hens suitable for egg production in peri-urban areas. The Italian Government, through the FAO, is financing a project entitled "Establishment of long term support to the rural village family poultry sector." The project was developed to support rural families who suffered losses during the floods in 2000. With the assistance of the Veterinary Medicine Faculty and NGOs, the project will distribute village-adapted chickens imported from South Africa (Ovambo, Venda, Naked Neck and Koekoek breeds).