Following the success of the pilot project of the command chicken programme in Mashonaland East, a number of developments are happening in the poultry industry which are set to improve food security in the country.

With the first batch of the 20000 chickens under command chicken programme having been slaughtered at Kudu Creek Abattoir in Goromonzi, a lot of developments including branding of chickens under the programme and coming in of other private players have happened which are set to open more opportunities for farmers.

Mashonaland East Provincial Livestock Officer, Mr John Taderera said there has been an overwhelming number of farmers who have registered to take part under the programme.

A chicken abattoir funded by the African Ambassadors in Zimbabwe has also been opened at Materera Poultry Project in Marondera and will reduce travelling costs to abattoirs in Harare and Chitungwiza.

The abattoir has capacity to process 20 000 chickens per day and was constructed at a cost of $50 000 to serve the Marondera community which also has many farmers under the Command Chicken Programme.

Dean of the Diplomatic Corp, Cde Mwawapanga Mwanananga said command agriculture should work closely with the project to grow the poultry industry.

Mr David Hagwick from Irvine’s said his company is supporting the Command Livestock Programme and will be establishing similar abattoirs countrywide.

Another welcome development in the Command Chicken Programme is the branding of the chickens under the programme.

Command Agriculture Brand Manager, Nyaradzo Tongogara said the command chicken brand will soon be available in the market, competing with other established local brands.

So far a total of 100 000 chicks have been distributed to 66 beneficiaries countrywide with 60000 of them in Mashonaland East’s three districts of Goromonzi, Murehwa and Seke, while farmers in Marondera will be receiving their chickens soon.

The pilot project, which is being funded by Sakunda holdings which has pledged to supply 2 million chicks, feed and vaccines, is being carried out in the three provinces of Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland West.