Project members of the Blouberg Integrated Food Security and Household Farming Goat Value Chain Project are keen on exploring the business opportunities their animals will bring them. Project members have been equipped with a series of workshops and trainings namely Heifer Cornerstones, leadership and vegetable production. The project was also visited by a team of Pepsicorps volunteers who facilitated month long workshops on the development of the Farmers Business Association, Community Animal Health Workers amongst others. This dynamic injection of knowledge has implanted an energetic aura amongst project members. These vital skills and knowledge shall assist project members to explore business opportunities.
In the recent days project members have celebrated their first goat delivery, which consisted of 572 indigenous goats. Goats were awarded to project members with goat shelters. With 528 indigenous goats to follow during the course of this year the remaining project members are pre-occupied with trainings and building their goat shelters.
The Blouberg Integrated Food Security and Household Farming Project was started in October 2013, and it aims to improve the food security and income security of 2100 families in Blouberg Local Municipality, Capricorn District, Limpopo Province, South Africa. Through capacity building, the development of household vegetable gardens, including fruit trees, and the development of household small livestock farming activities, using chickens, goats, sheep, pigs and bees. This project is our largest project to date and we intend on up-scaling our current projects even further.
As part of Heifer International’s scaling up programme, Heifer International South Africa will see even greater change and impact. We are launching a 10 year programme focusing on the goat value chain with our sister countries, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia. Our aim will be to work collaboratively with partners at all levels to sustainably lift 87,500 rural, small holder farmers in South Africa out of poverty by supporting the growth of goat production enterprises in the smallholder goat farming sector.
The successes of the Blouberg Project will now be carried across to the Jozini Project in KwaZulu-Natal, where 2500 families will work with Heifer to end hunger and poverty in their communities, in 2015.