Since 2017, the conflict in the northern Mozambique province of Cabo Delgado has forced over 700,000 people from their homes. Most displaced families have been housed in communities with relatives and friends, or on temporary land loaned by others; however, they were forced to leave their land and belongings behind. Given that most are smallholder farmers, this has meant a disruption to the supply of food and income for many.
With support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Mozambique, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) has been working with the Agrarian Institute of Bilibiza at the Ocua Campus to help internally displaced people (IDPs) to identify new sources of food and income, and bounce back from the shocks of recent years.
An example is our support for the establishment of micro-aviaries and poultry associations. We guide associations to identify local material such as bamboo, grass and stakes to repurpose for micro-aviary construction. We then train members in poultry health, aviary management and marketing, key skills to accompany them wherever life takes them next.
Ernestina Constância said: “I joined the group for the opportunity to learn about raising and selling chicken. Today I can do it, even alone, and be able to generate income for myself and my family.”
An association of 16 IDPs received a batch of 450 chickens to start their endeavour. Through the training and mentorship provided, the association was able to sell chickens at a profit and reinvest to increase the number of chickens to 600. For many association members, this has been their first experience of generating income outside of their subsistence farming practices.
More than this, the association has offered a space for people – both host community members and IDPs – to come together, connect and begin to heal after months of trauma and uncertainty.
Helena Fernando Evaristo said: “It is good to participate in this activity because I am busy during the day, I have someone to talk to. I no longer get so isolated thinking about the past and the things I lost where I came from.
I also learned about raising chickens and running the business. When I return to my district, I will be able to continue this business, even alone, and I am also able to work for anyone who has an aviary and earn a salary.”
The creation of micro-aviaries is one of the provincial government’s priorities. They are one of many ways in which we are supporting about 400 community members, including IDPs, to secure critical food and income, and better withstand shocks that the future may have in store.
The Agrarian Institute of Bilibiza aims to strengthen the agricultural sector through training medium-level technicians and entrepreneurs in Cabo Delgado Province. This initiative also improves experiential learning for students and involves them in community engagement, giving them experience in institutional management, land development and sustainable land management, all useful for their careers.