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Citation Information

Type Working Paper
Title Village poultry and poverty alleviation
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2003
URL http://www.theopenunderground.de/@pdf/nurse/gen/COMMUNITY-BASED MANAGEMENT OF ANIMAL GENETIC​RESOURCES-swaziland-may.pdf#page=162
The poultry industry of Botswana comprises two important production systems. These are a commercial sector
that uses exotic breeds of chickens and improved housing and nutrition (high-input, high-output system); and
the village system, which mostly uses indigenous Tswana chickens (low-input, low-output system). The
chicken population in Botswana is estimated to be approximately 23 million (20 million commercial and 3
million village chickens). An eight-month study was conducted in 15 villages and involved 1 000 rearers of
village chickens. Data were collected using a formal questionnaire and through informal interviews. The study
showed that chickens accounted for 94 percent of the poultry species reared, while pigeons and ducks made up
the remaining 6 percent. It was found that, in rural areas, most people (especially women) said they kept
chickens mainly for meat, as a source of income, for greeting visitors and for healing rituals. Chickens were
sold to meet family needs and the average price per bird was 17.57 pula (P), equivalent to US$3.74. The
money from the sale of chickens was used to pay school fees, buy school requisites (pens, uniforms and
books), pay for health services and pay contributions to burial societies and to the church. The money was also
used to purchase small ruminants (sheep and goats), which were later sold to buy cattle to provide draught
power and milk. This indicates that village chickens play an important role in alleviating poverty in the rural
villages of Botswana

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