Blantyre — At least 22, 200 goats have so far been distributed to smallholder farmers across the country in the Presidential Initiative on Small Stock Production (PISSP) championed by the Presidential Initiative on Poverty and Hunger Reduction (PIPaHR).
PIPaHR Deputy National Coordinator, Dr. Susan Chikagwa Malunga, said the initiative would help vulnerable farmers to venture into goat production thereby widening themeat per capita consumption from 5kilograms to 7 kilograms.
"The pass-on programme is progressing well. So far, we have managed to distribute 22, 200 goats from Nsanje to Chitipa and over 10,000 kids which were born have also been distributed increasing the goat ownership.
"We are engaging such farmers because we want to have increased small stock production and animal health services thereby increasing meat production, processing marketing and consumption," she said.
According to Dr. Malunga, 15 farmers from each group benefit four female goats each and each group benefits two breeding males to ensure that each beneficiary passes on four female offspring to another person.
"To ensure sustainability of the programme, the PIPaHR developed a contract agreement form for beneficiaries so that every farmer gets the share of the deal.
"PIPaHR intends to broaden ownership of goats and sheep by seven percent and four percent respectively and raise household income by at least 20 percent by 2017," said Malunga.
PIPaHR acquires the goats through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security's Department of Animal Health and Livestock Development (DAHLD) for distribution to the smallholder farmers.