Edinah Musowe is a 50-year-old mother of 7 and grandmother of 16. All her children still live with her in the Chibombo district. Their proximity to Lusaka and position along the line of rail to Copperbelt province made the villagers susceptible to COVID-19 infections as populations travel a lot between the two provinces. As such, when COVID-19 restrictions on movements were implemented, farmers’ access to market was adversely affected. This consequently affected their household incomes and threatened their food security. The IFAD supported Enhanced Smallholder Livestock Investment Programme (E-SLIP) through the Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF) supported farmers with income generating activities that required them to spend less time at the market as their produce was easier and quicker to sell.
Pre-covid, life for Edinah and her family wasn’t comfortable already then when the pandemic set in, life became very difficult, and her family were not getting enough food. She was worried about the future. “My plans were shattered” - she couldn’t buy and sell. Having a big family and being a single woman, worrying about her family became a daily source of stress. She struggled for almost a year before she was selected to be a beneficiary of the programme which provided her with 20 chickens. As a result, her life improved as she had eggs and meat to feed her family. The first eggs laid by her hens, were passed on to other farmers. As COVID restrictions were lifted, she was also able to sell the eggs and meat, increasing her income. Edinah was able to buy fertiliser, two turkeys and a couple of goats, and her grandkids are well-fed and able to attend school.
Edinah has also noticed the adverse effects of climate change. She was badly affected by the drought of 2019, followed by the floods two years later and is highly appreciative of the help she has received from the fund.
The Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF) funds were used for the project Covid-19 Smart Livestock Production and Productivity Project (RPSF I) under the Enhanced Smallholder Livestock Investment Programme (E-SLIP). The overall goal of the project was to “sustainably build resilience against shocks caused by COVID-19 in livestock production and productivity systems among targeted poor livestock farming households” with the aim to maintain the E-SLIP progress towards its IFAD11 Impact Targets.
Additional RPSF funds were used to scale-up the work and increase the outreach and add complementary activities to the original RPSF work that allowed the sustainability of E-SLIP and RPSF results.
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