Cargill and Heifer International are celebrating the official launch of a program aimed at improving the lives of more than 450 smallholder farming households in the Qinsghen, China.
Representatives from Cargill, Heifer and its program implementing partner in China –the Qingshen County for the Promotion of Women &Children’s Cooperation and Development – participated in a ceremony to discuss the program and celebrate the distribution of layer chickens to eight of the farmers benefitting from the program.
Through its $250,000 contribution and partnership with Heifer, Cargill is supporting the Qingshen Sustainable Livelihoods and Community Holistic Development Project. Under the project, 150 small-scale farms will receive 100 baby chicks each, with the aim that as these farmers grow their own flocks, each of them will be asked to pass on 100 chicks to other smallholder farmers. By project end in 2020, the goal is to assist 450 smallholder farmer households.
To date, 87 families have received broiler chickens through the program, with an additional 70 project families due to receive layer chicks by the end of May 2017. Women-led farms are the main participants in the program, which aims to increase family incomes by building an organized chicken production system for their families. The recipient families also are participating in training around animal husbandry and farm management as the project also seeks to help build market linkages.
“We are grateful to participate in such a meaningful partnership with Heifer that truly has the opportunity to transform lives” said Chuck Warta, president, Cargill Premix and Nutrition. “As part of our purpose to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way, it’s important to impact the lives of one family at a time to help them improve their livelihoods.”
The project also incorporates Heifer’s Passing on the Gift®, where each farming family passes on livestock to another family in need. The goal is to include two generations of Passing on the Gift, distributing chicks to more than 450 farms.
“Through this project, participants will learn to raise chickens and produce food in an environmentally sustainable way,” said Pierre Ferrari, president and CEO of Heifer. “By providing the livestock, training and entry into markets, we will help women become more empowered and better able to provide for their families.”
“Since the Cargill-sponsored project came into the two villages, it has brought about new vitality to our ‘targeted poverty alleviation’ strategy and created strong impetus for the holistic development of the two villages,” said Mr. Dai Yu, county CPC Committee Member of Qingshen County.