Thank you for visiting my blog! My name is Niamh Schumacher and I am a nutrition intern with the Tworore Inkoko, Twunguke Project. “Tworore Inkoko, Twunguke” is a Kinyarwanda phrase that means, “Let’s raise chickens for profit.” The project is supported by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, and its purpose is to give Rwandan people an opportunity to increase their income and improve their health by raising and selling chickens.
The project is based in Musanze, which is a district in Rwanda’s Northern Province. It functions with the help of Zamura Feeds, Rwanda’s first commercial feed mill. This is the third year of the Tworore Inkoko, Twunguke Project, and the project has already had great success. More than 350 Rwandan farmers have been trained by the project to raise chickens. The money the farmers make from selling their chickens has enabled some farmers to as much as quadruple their previous household income. That’s a huge success!
Aside from the monetary benefits, farmers are also improving their nutrition through the project. Instead of selling all of their chickens, farmers keep 2-3 chickens per 8-week (the time it takes to raise a group of chickens to market weight) cycle to eat. Eating those 2-3 chickens per cycle diversifies the diet of the participating families and greatly increases their consumption of animal-based protein. (Many of the project’s farmers say that their families ate meat only once a year before they started raising chickens!)
Because families in Musanze are unaccustomed to eating chicken, the Tworore Inkoko, Tunguska Project provides nutrition trainings for its farmers. This is where my role as a nutrition intern begins.