Government through the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock today handed over 20 diary animals to women and youths in Chief Choongo area under the Enhanced Small Holder Livestock Investment Project (E-SLIP) aimed at improving milk production, income and poverty reduction among beneficiaries.
Chief Choongo of the Tonga speaking people in Monze District has praised the government for the gesture which he strongly believes would raise standards of living and eradicate poverty among his people.
During the handover of 20 out of the total of 40 diary animals to be distributed to the area, Minister of Fisheries and Livestock Professor Nkandu Luo said the government attached great importance to the development of the livestock sector through continuous stocking and restocking exercise under the E-SLIP project.
She said the E-SLIP project was founded on the premise of fighting poverty and improving living standards through livestock pass on programme in Monze District and other parts of the country adding that the project was focusing on benefiting 50 per cent women, 30 per cent youths with 20 per cent for men.
Prof. Luo was speaking in a speech read on her behalf today during the handover ceremony of 20 diary animals to 20 beneficiaries at Nteme Milk Collection Centre by Mr. Young Vibetti Deputy Director Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock.
Prof. Luo said the E-SLIP pass on projects of livestock such as goats, chickens and cattle had two components including increasing animal production and as well as disease control.
She added that the ultimate goal of the project was to see improved nutrition, income and poverty reduction in Monze District and other parts of the country where the project was being implemented.
“My government through the E-SLIP project has today handed over 20 out of the 40 diary animals for beneficiaries in Nteme area and the main aim of this project is to enhance animal production as well as income generation and thus eradicate poverty among the beneficiaries households,” said Prof. Luo.
“ And as a government we expect beneficiaries to take very good care of these animals with the understanding that this is a pass on project that once a calf is born it should be given to the next beneficiary and so on and so forth so that we improve nutrition and at the same time eradicate poverty,” she added.
And Chief Choongo said the gesture by the government to remember his area was highly commendable and further advised beneficiaries to take good care of the animals so that others too may benefit.
He noted that it was encouraging that the E-SLIP pass on livestock project being implemented by the government was not only meant for Monze but the entire country saying this would significantly help to reduce poverty.
“I want to sincerely thank the government for remembering my subjects to also benefit from the E-SLIP diary animals pass on project and I just want to encourage beneficiaries to take extra care of these animals so that others can benefit as well,” said Chief Choongo.
Meanwhile Monze District Commissioner Mrs Munachoongo Muleya said the E-SLIP project which started five years ago in the District has provided valuable support to the livestock sector through strengthening government’s capacity for animals disease control and reducing incidences of East Coast Fever(ECF) and Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) which are major cause of animal mortality in the District.
She explained that five milk collection centres such as Nteme, Kaumba, Munyenze, St. Marys, Monze, Kayuni, Silwili dairies have benefited from the E-SLIP project through capacity building, technical support, knowledge in rangeland management and provided with pasture and forage seeds to cooperative members.
The District Commissioner thanked the government for creating an enabling environment to empower women and youths through the E-SLIP livestock pass on project adding that the project would make an indelible contribution to poverty reduction, household food security and nutrition.
“On behalf of people of Monze and on my own behalf, I would like to sincerely thank you for the good work that your Ministry (Ministry of fisheries and Livestock) is doing in our District. This Pass –on scheme that has begun in Monze will surely empower the youths and women within the District hence add to increase in volumes of milk and also add to food security in the District,” said Mrs Muleya.
Earlier during the courtesy call at her office by Officials from the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, Mrs Muleya implored the Ministry through its Department to crop stray dogs, a problem she noted has become a source of concern in the District.
She further requested for more funding and vehicles to the Department to enable officers carry out their duties effectively.
According to the Department of Livestock, Monze District has a cattle population of 184,950 and the District produces approximately 480,000 litres of Milk per month translating to 3.8 Million litres per year.