By Quegas Mutale
St. John Mary Vianney Mission in Binga deanery of Hwange Diocese is demonstrating self- reliance through rearing goats, guinea fowls and chickens.
This is because the climatic conditions in Matabeleland region where the Mission is favor small livestock production. The Herald Zimbabwe indicated on 17 September 2019 that livestock production is one of the major economic drivers in Matabeleland.
Fr. Masimba Nyoni, the priest in charge of St. John Vianney and dean for Binga deanery said goats and chickens are a good source of meat and income for the parish. He stated that the Mission benefits a lot through selling chickens and goats.
Fr. Nyoni appreciated the gesture of donating 15 goats made by the mission centers in 2021 before St. Augustine of Siachilaba (renamed to St. Padre Pio) was separated from St. John Mary Vianney. He indicated that the number of goats doubled since then.
“We get chickens from people in form of tithe and offertory, and sometimes as gifts and these are the ones that we breed and resell to generate income for the parish”, Fr. Nyoni said.
Fr. Nyoni relayed that missions must rely on themselves for self- sustenance and not ask for assistance from anyone.
He said, “the motivation to rear small livestock came from the church which has seen itself at the receiving end all the time. We have realized that as priests we have been going to the diocese every time we needed money, food and everything”.
The priest indicated that he taught people to be self- reliant, leading to goat, guinea fowls and chicken rearing projects after realizing their potential to provide. Upon his arrival, Fr. Nyoni encouraged the church in Kariangwe to contribute towards the welfare of priests.
He advised that goats and chickens are not difficult to look after. He shared that in Kariangwe there is no herding required for goats since they are let out to graze on their own in the morning and return in the evening. However, the mission has a domestic worker who is responsible for running the project.
Although Fr. Nyoni indicated that the project was still in its infancy stage, he said it is destined to generate more income for the parish as it continues to grow with 31 goats and many chickens and guinea fowls.
The parish has also introduced a piggery project which is still taking shape.
However, Fr. Nyoni bemoaned livestock diseases which he said are spread by wild animals due to the parish’s proximity to Chizarira National Park.
Fr. Nyoni advised other Catholic Missions in Hwange to embark on goat farming which he said is easy to manage and can grow fast as goats multiply quickly.