Burkina Faso: Farming family benefits in many ways from vaccinating their birds (AgribusinessTV)

| December 7, 2020

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In west central Burkina Faso, keeping chickens is very profitable. But to maximize income and other benefits, it’s important to keep the birds in good health. With this in mind, Hélène Kabré and her husband, Rakiswiligré, learned how to vaccinate their chickens. They also offer vaccination service to other producers so that everyone can benefit from keeping the birds. The couple are successful now, but it wasn’t always easy. They had to educate many in their village on the importance of vaccinations. Mrs. Kabré says they took advantage of meetings or community gatherings to talk about the importance of vaccinations.

In Nandiala, Burkina Faso, chickens are profitable. They bring easy money. And, according to Hélène Kabré, “They allow for quick resolutions to problems.”

Nandiala is 80 kilometres west of Ouagadougou in the province of Boulkiemdé, in west central Burkina Faso. Here, Mrs. Kabré and her husband keep birds, which have many benefits, one of which is that their droppings can be used as fertilizer. 

But to benefit even more from keeping chickens, it’s important to keep them in good health. So Mrs. Kabré and her husband, Rakiswiligré, learned how to vaccinate their chickens. They also offer this service to other producers in their village so that everyone can benefit from the profitability of the birds. 

Mrs. Kabré explains: “I became a vaccinator of birds because we were raising birds and there were many that were dying. In our village, there wasn’t a vaccinator. This is why we chose to learn how to vaccinate to reduce the mortality rate of our birds.” 

Vaccinating their birds has proved profitable in two ways. Their flocks have grown, as has demand for vaccinations.  

Mr. Kabré explains: “In the beginning, we were going out together to do the vaccinations. But with time, our livestock grew and we couldn’t leave at the same time. Now, sometimes I leave in the evening to do the vaccinations and she stays at home. The next day, early in the morning, she leaves to do the vaccinations while I stay home. This is how our work has evolved.” 

It wasn’t always easy. They had to educate many in their village on the importance of vaccinations. Mrs. Kabré explains that they took advantage of any meetings or community gatherings to talk about vaccinations. They even organized their own sensitization meetings. 

She says: “We help people through our approach. If we cross paths with someone somewhere, we make them aware. If an individual calls on us to vaccinate chickens, we can also approach his neighbour to sensitize him to follow in the other’s footsteps. It might help.”

Now, they are happy with their neighbours’ positive attitudes towards vaccination. Mrs. Kabré says they receive requests for vaccinations every day. Mr. Kabré estimates that, over the course of the year, they can vaccinate between 1,000 and 1,500 birds. 

It may be strange in some places to see a woman working as a vaccinator, but Mrs. Kabré says, “As a woman in the business, I can say it’s easy. It’s easy when you give your all to the work.”

She adds that the work doesn’t take a lot of time. Thus, she can take care of her household duties during the day and keep time in the evening or early morning for making her rounds to the neighbours to administer vaccinations. The appointments are made in advance, so she can plan all her tasks. 

It may also be strange to see a husband and wife working together. Mr. Kabré says: “At times, in our area, it’s not obvious that people encourage you because you work with your wife. At first, many people here thought it was stupid. They did not understand when two people take a walk to vaccinate poultry. They didn’t see it as a job. But nowadays, many of them come here for training.”

he couple share the work, and the benefits from the work. They have purchased a cart and constructed a new building in their yard. They have also invested in other things for poultry production. And thanks to good poultry production, they were able to sell their chickens at a fair last year and make enough money to purchase a motorized tricycle.  

This story was inspired by a video called “Burkina Faso: Village poultry producers and vaccinators,“ which was originally produced by AgribusinessTV. To see the video, go to: https://agribusinesstv.info/en/burkina-faso-village-poultry-producers-and-vaccinators/