Ducks and Microenterprise
The Ducks and Microenterprise project was started in April of 2013 and will continue to grow and expand under the supervision of VHP until April of 2016. VHP implemented the duck project to address several issues that were observed in the community, specifically nutrition of young children, lack of sustainable food production for families, and lack of employment within the community.
The Ducks and Microenterprise project is intended to address these issues by providing a sustainable and nutritious food source in addition to providing a source of income for the families involved. On a very basic level, the project proposed the distribution of 100 ducks to several families throughout the community. These families would be responsible for raising, feeding, and housing the ducks. The family then has the choice of using the eggs produced by the ducks for food, selling the eggs for money, or allowing the ducks to reproduce and then sell the ducklings once they fully develop. In order to promote the sustainability of this project, each of the initial families would be expected to give some of the ducklings to other families selected by the community, so that they could continue the cycle and ensure that the ducks, as they reproduce, are spread throughout the community to families in need.
Ducks were selected because they are resistant to diseases that typically infect poultry. For example, new castle disease infects many chickens, but ducks are resistant to this illness. Additionally, ducks lay more eggs than chickens, which allows ducks to generate a much higher yield and profit if they are raised for eggs. Ducks also convert food to weight more efficiently than chickens, meaning the food a farmer buys for the ducks to generate more weight gain in a duck than the same amount of food would for a chicken.