Rabecca Mvula is married and the mother of six children. She started breeding rabbits last year through the “pass-on scheme” where she was handed two rabbits for free by a previous breeder to start off her own rabbit production. She now has nine rabbits, six males and three females.
Through the IFAD supported Enhanced Smallholder Livestock Investment Programme (E-SLIP) and the Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF) a select group of beneficiaries were provided with rabbits to help boost their production and protect their household incomes against the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rabbits can reproduce up to eight times a year and have as many as 10 offspring at once and are a high source of protein. Their droppings are used as manure and their urine is treated so that it can be used as fertiliser and pesticide.
So far Rebecca has only used the rabbits she has produced for personal consumption in her household. However, she plans to start selling them next year when she has a higher number of rabbits available. In the meantime, she has noticed the positive benefits derived from eating a healthy protein-based diet. Her children are looking much healthier and have all put on weight which makes her very happy.
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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