The local villagers in Vanapa, Central Province are trialling village chicken (VC) farming. The structured management practices of VC chicken farming is new to them, as prior to this new venture the VC were kept as pets which roamed freely. The owners of VC sold them when an opportunity arose, they rarely consumed eggs or meat.
With the support of the Brisbane based Kyeema Foundation, the villagers now have the opportunity to be trained in housing, feeding, egg management and basic market access knowledge. Participants from the Vanapa region are given an opportunity to breed and rear chickens in order to develop a sustainable farm with the potential to generate a sustainable personal income.
As the structured VC farming is a semi intensive concept, local subsistent farmers have had to adapt to keep up with PNG’s ever evolving agriculture sector. The concept of Village Chicken Farming is to use locally grown feed to raise chickens. The chickens are allowed to roam in managed perimeters of the farm during the day in order to scavenge and then return to sleep in specially built houses at night.
The local villagers who are taking part in this program have had to increase their garden plots to grow extra crops. This is to ensure there is enough food for both their families and livestock. The participants are growing a variety of short term crops including corn, pawpaw, egg plants, tomatoes and cabbages to blend with coconut, leucaena, moringa and and other local greens and starchy food. Using locally grown food and household scraps helps reduce the cost of livestock feeding, improves general nutrition for families and increases household income from selling surplus crops in local markets.