Andrew Mwewa, a 23-year-old Zambian youth, had a dream to become a teacher after completing his secondary education, unluckily his dream has not came true because of lack of finances. However, Mwewa had seized a golden opportunity to get trained in rearing village chickens by the Chinese experts who have partnered with the Zambia Cooperative Union.
“My dream was to become a teacher, but I could not, I now thank God I got some information from Zambia Co-operative Union coordinator Thomas Banda that there were Chinese who were training youths in village chicken rearing, so that is how I become interested,” said Mwewa.
He said after training for three weeks, he started rearing his own chickens in Luanshya’s Walale Compound, a highly densely populated area in the mining district.
Training of youths and women in village chicken is going to economically empower farmers not only in Luanshya district but the entire Copperbelt province and Zambia as a whole.
“I am rearing over a thousand chickens, and I mostly sell my Chickens to Chinese nationals, I have customers from China Non-Ferrous Metal mining Luanshya Mine, the Chinese enjoy village chickens very much,” said Mwewa, adding that the training in poultry farming by the Chinese experts has greatly helped him to improve his living standards economically and make the ends meet for his family.
“From my chicken rearing business I have been able to buy a plot and soon I will start building my own poultry house, I am copying the Chinese way of doing things,” he said with a smile on his face.
Mwewa said that he is also training four of his peers in village chicken rearing as one way of empowering them economically.
“I am helping my fellow youths on how to keep village chickens so that they can improve their lives economically, all these is because of the training I got from Zambia Co-operative Union which partnered with Jilin University of China to train us in Village Chicken rearing,” he said.
According to Mwewa, in a month he makes about 160 U.S. dollars, about Kwacha three thousand local currency, from the sale of his birds.
Further, he has encouraged his fellow youths who were complaining about lack of jobs to get involved in projects like village chicken rearing which he said was lucrative and could better their lives economically.
“As youths, let us change our mindsets, and let us emulate the Chinese way of doing things if we are to develop our nation,” he said.
Alfred Daka aged 22, a friend of Mwewa also a Luanshya resident says he has learnt a lot from his friend who was trained by the Chinese in village chicken rearing.
“It is my wish that I could have this opportunity to be trained in village chicken rearing,” said Daka.
Meanwhile, Thomas Banda who is the Luanshya district coordinator of Zambia Co-operative Union, is impressed with the Chinese assistance towards the training of youths in village chicken rearing in the district solely dependent on mining.
“New small scale projects in village chicken rearing will definitely help alleviate poverty levels in our district,” Banda said.
According to Banda, over 300 youths have been trained so far in village chicken rearing by the Chinese and a good number of the trained youths will become employers for their fellow youths thereby reducing of unemployment levels in the district.
And Luanshya District Commissioner Patrick Maipambe commended the Chinese for their commitment towards training youths in the district in rearing village chickens.
“I would commend the Chinese for goodwill in training our youths in the village chicken project,” Maipambe concluded.