In the heart of Bunya, a village nestled on the outskirts of Namibia’s Kavango West region, Theresia Ihemba has become a beacon of hope, proving that tackling poverty and ensuring food security can start with individual initiative. Through her resilient efforts in poultry farming, Ihemba exemplifies the transformative power of leveraging existing resources to make a significant impact on a community’s well-being.
Initiating the “Karangana Poultry Project”:
In 2021, Ihemba embarked on her poultry farming journey, establishing the “Karangana Poultry Project” as a sustainable alternative source of income. Fueled by the challenges posed by locust outbreaks that threatened crops and livelihoods in her community, she started with 60 chicken layers, driven by a commitment to finding solutions to the pressing issues of the time.
Challenges and Triumphs:
Ihemba encountered hurdles, with the high cost of chicken feed posing a significant obstacle. Despite earning a modest salary, sustaining proper nutrition for her chickens and ensuring a steady income seemed daunting. However, her fortunes took a positive turn when the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States (FAO) stepped in, providing crucial support in the form of donated chicken layers, feed, and equipment.
FAO’s Impact and Ihemba’s Transformation:
FAO’s assistance shielded Ihemba’s business from the fallout of the locust outbreaks, bolstering her poultry production. The improved nutrition resulted in increased egg production, enabling her to afford chicken feed through egg sales. Grateful for the support, Ihemba emphasizes the transformative effect on her family and community, urging continued support for agricultural communities like hers.
Community Nutrition and Dietary Diversity: Ihemba’s eggs now reach local clinics, schools, and individual buyers in her village, enhancing community access to vital nutrition and dietary diversity. Her success story serves as an inspiration, and she passionately encourages more women to venture into poultry farming, stressing the equal responsibility women share in ensuring their families have enough to eat.
A Vision for the Future:
As a participant in the “Emergency Response and Resilience Building” project, generously funded by the Government of Japan, Ihemba’s success aligns with FAO’s commitment to “Four Betters,” emphasizing Better Nutrition and a Better Life. This initiative aims to assist vulnerable farming households in locust-affected regions, including Kavango West, where Ihemba’s journey unfolds.
Theresia Ihemba’s journey is a testament to the potential for change and progress when individuals are empowered to make a difference. As she flourishes in her poultry farming endeavor, her story shines as a guiding light, illustrating how collective efforts, supported by organizations like FAO, can catalyze positive transformations within communities. Ihemba’s determination showcases the resilience of local farmers and their vital role in achieving food security, echoing a call for continued support and intervention in the quest for a more sustainable and secure future.
Original article was written by Dolly Menas