Piloting a commercial broiler production model for smallholders in Rwanda
African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Increasing food security is premised on improving economic empowerment as well as nutrition across the household. As such, development projects across Africa are integrating nutrition objectives into pro-poor value chain development interventions to increase dietary diversity and incomes. To meet the micronutrient demands of a growing population, Rwanda seeks to increase the production of and access to meat-based proteins, including chicken production. Despite Rwanda's recent rapid economic
... rapid economic growth, there is a limited supply of and access to animal-sourced protein nationally. A hybrid broiler model, which integrates elements of smallholder and larger intensive poultry models, could be a sustainable approach. A model piloted in Musanze District, Rwanda. Tworore Inkoko, Twunguke (TI) (Let's raise chickens for profit!) uses an intensive, 100bird model with the aim of training and supporting 750 smallholder farmers through an innovative private-sector-based train-the-trainer approach. This study examines the initial evidence from TI production data to determine (a) the performance of improved broiler breeds in a Rwandan smallholder context, (b) farmer profitability, and (c) household consumption of broilers. With 18 months of flock data, average livability of flocks was 89%, similar to large-scale, modern broiler sector averages globally. Tworore Inkoko smallholders have been profitable, with average profit increasing as they gain experience and grow-out new flocks (profit ranging between 28 and 89 USD per flock). Birds set aside for consumption by farmers ranged from an average of 0.31 to 4.00 birds per flock, settling at closer to three per flock by the end of the first 18 months. Smallholder farmers in Rwanda have the potential to be successful through this model. Lessons learned from the rollout of this pilot project will be used to inform potential scale-up of this hybrid model across Rwanda, as well as other pro-poor value chains looking to increase food security by generating incomes and increasing access to highly nutritious and balanced diets.