Livestock farming is essential to smallholder livelihoods and serves as an integral part of the fundamental system that mitigates the suffering of undernourished households, composed of approximately 690 million people across the globe.
A Young Mother and Smallholder Farmer
Kimberly Dacuro is a young mother from Siembre, Bombon, Camarines Sur. She was tapped by Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc.’s (PSFI) Roots to Shoots (RTS) – Food Security and Livelihood (FSL) Program. The program’s unique and special efforts aim to uplift the living of its vulnerable community members.
Kim participated in FSL’s Home Gardening Training and was selected as one of the recipients of Swine Raising Training which provides new and innovative ways of raising swine.
FSL provided sow as their initial capital for small livelihood. As the program progressed, the provisioned sow farrowed 12 healthy new piglets. The program decides that the discretion on the decision for these piglets is now up to Kim as the owner, whether she will sell these to the market or further raise them for swine fattening.
FSL requires the actual and regular records of all the expenses and income from the day of receiving the sow, up to the last farrowing of the stock to monitor the progress of the initial capital and Kim’s learnings from the program.
Through this program, Kim aspires to improve her child’s nutritional status, who is currently listed among undernourished children in their community. The Food Security and Livelihood Program gives her the opportunity and capability to provide for her child’s critical nutrition needs.
Undernutrition in Families
Globally, 45% of deaths of children under 5 years old are linked to undernutrition (World Health Organization)¹. Malnutrition includes undernutrition; wasting, stunting, underweight, and increased vulnerability to diet-related non-communicable diseases.
The importance of livestock in the developing world continues to grow as animal source foods per capita consumption remains low. But while developing economies income rises, so will the demand for animal-source goods².
The livestock contribution to food and nutrition security derives dual opportunities for smallholder income enhancement. The livestock diversifies Kim’s family’s diet, provides much needed protein-rich nutrients and even helps her earn a more regular income
Fostering Women's Empowerment and Resilence
Women in rural areas who are resource-poor, often manage small animals. Smallholder livestock farmers seek to reduce poverty, build household food security and develop basic strategic entry points for financial resilience.
Empowerment of marginal farmers through livestock projects improve gender equality where women take the larger share of heavy workloads with little control over resources for family care. It empowers them for greater economic independence and strengthens their community presence and participation for a sustainable future.
With more potential income, Kim’s goal is to improve her house on a structural basis as their family income now continues to grow through raising swine.
With the support provided through Chektec’s OkCheck mobile application, Kim was pleased to conduct her own self-reporting through OkCheck. The simplicity and ease-of-use helps her to remember the step-by-step processes, practice and procedures that are critical to raising swine.
Moreover, the mobile data load provided to her by the program helps her gain internet access which she utilizes for regular coordination with PSFI’s Program Officers. This keeps her updated on her ability to adopt and adept to new technologies from the training sessions managed and delivered by PSFI’s Roots-To-Shoot Food Security and Livelihood Program.