The Impacts of Improved Goat Husbandry and Aquaculture on Local Food Security and Conservation in Siavonga District, Zambia – assessment report
This reports presents two case studies including:
The institutional and material needs to successfully operate a goat production value chain run by a community based organization, and
The institutional and material needs for aquaculture for local community development to address food and nutritional needs, and the conservation of natural fisheries through reduced fishing pressure.
Key findings and recommendations confirm that:
- The goat breeding improvement has significantly contributed to improve the commercialized goat production in the participating areas. It is essential to ensure feed used for goats does not compete / interfere with people’s needs for food; furthermore the systems of having goats as free ranging which is a common practice in the area is not sustainable and in order to sustain a new goat strain, it may be recommended to introduce a system of fenced grasslands for particular groups of goats. The assessment also underscored the need for strong market linkages as attested by the competitive prices in urban markets compared to local sales through middlemen. Overall feedback from the farmers involved in the goat production program showed that further programming that consider these recommendations will increase the popularity of commercialized goat production in the area, and in return contribute to food security and behavior change from unsustainable land use practices in the area
- In terms of the aquaculture intervention, this is strategic because the Government of Zambia is promoting commercially oriented small and medium scale aquaculture to increase animal protein supply and food security in the country; address urgent need for poverty alleviation; achieve greater diversification of food and income sources and promote balanced regional development. The official statements supportive of aquaculture development in Zambia can be found in the National Aquaculture Strategy document of 2006 and the National Aquaculture Development Plan of 2010 available at the Department of Fisheries in Chilanga. These documents lay down the next steps for the development for the industry. The experience with the Chiawa Bream Farm case study showed that this food security strategy can work BUT requires systematic preparation that includes appropriate site selection, farm design and construction, as these create the basis for smooth operation. Furthermore, continuous training and availability of information is recommended to ensure good management and maintenance of the farms. Through community based aquaculture enterprises like the Chiawa Bream Farm, local community members are trained in running a fish farm and these skills can be used for farmers to operate household fish ponds, that way contributing to household food security in the area, where fish is the main source of animal protein and overfishing of natural fisheries is a growing problem. Through having their own household fish farm, fishing pressure in the river will decrease and the natural fish stocks can recover.