Development of sustainable farming of landrace fowl in Rodrigues
Development of sustainable farming of landrace fowl in Rodrigues
Project Summary
Rodrigues Island forms part of the Republic of Mauritius. Situated almost 650 km north-east from the main Island, Rodrigues has a total land surface area of 108 km² (18 km long and 6 km wide) and a coast line of 80 km. In 2002, the Central Government accorded the autonomous status by setting up the Rodrigues Regional Assembly (RRA) responsible for the political and administrative management of local affairs. The RRA is headed by the Chief Commissioner and the Executive Council composed by Commissioners responsible for key development sectors. In 2010, the population accounted to 37.838 with a growth rate of 1, 25% per annum. According to recent statistics , 30.7% of the households live below the poverty line whereas in Mauritius main island poverty affects about 7.1% households.

Rodrigues has a long tradition in the production of basic food commodities of both crop and livestock. Over time we have been observing a change in consumption habits, where consumers find imported products more accessible and a lower cost which has led to a reduction in local production – less people involved in agriculture or small flock size. Despite this fact, agriculture has remained the central economic activity sector in Rodrigues.

It is estimated that around 4000 farmers are involved in backyard family poultry production in Rodrigues. Farmers rear indigenous scavenging chickens, which are known as the ‘local’ breed, presumably a mixture of Rhode Island Red, Australorp and Naked neck breeds introduced on the islands two to three centuries ago by early settlers. Poultry rearing constitutes an important source of both food and income to many farmers. Almost all Rodrigues families rear a few to hundreds of scavenging chickens which are consumed locally and export also. The birds fetch a high price as it is very tasty and have always been highly demanded especially by the Chinese Community of Mauritius.

Local poultry production has remained on amateurish basis as farmers have no structured market for local poultry, they have no training on semi or larger scale fowl production and farmers are hesitant to invest in poultry production as there is no model farm for large scale local poultry rearing in Rodrigues.

However, despite the growing demand on the market, the export of Rodrigues fowls has considerably decreased during the last few years. Statistics from the Rodrigues Trade and Marketing Unit (RTMC) show a decline from 490 baskets exported in 2001 to only 225 exported in 2010. High mortality of chicken and lack of business structure are key main causes of this downwards trend. With only two veterinaries in the island, livestock control is in effect extremely poor. Additionally, farmers lack of proper experience in business management and, as a consequence, face several difficulties in establishing small business on the market.

There is a need to preserve the indigenous fowl of Rodrigues and also to improve its rearing system to have better carcass quality and also preserve the special values (flavor and organic product).

In line to the Immediate Objective n.6 “Maintain or improve flow of agro-ecosystem and forest ecosystem services to sustain livelihoods of local communities” of GEF – SGP Operational Phase n.5 Country Programme Strategy 2011 – 2014, the project supports the development of sustainable farming practice of the landrace fowl in Rodrigues. Actions are based on successful practices and lessons learnt from a previous project “Improving the Rodriguan Fowl Production in Rodrigues” managed by the Rodrigues Local Poultry Association and funded by GEF SGP in 2009. In order to achieve this goal, the project will provide technical assistance on the following three areas:
1. Setting up a sustainable farming structure – Building a low carbon farm with efficient energy system and appropriate rainwater harvesting;
2. Producing and marketing high quality landrace fowls, fruits and vegetables – Composting, mixed planting and inter-cropping free from chemical pesticides and fertilizers will be used for poultry feeding and surplus will be sold on the market. The Rodrigues Trade and Marketing Company (RTMC) will provide specific assistance for the marketing of the fowl production;
3. Providing capacity building training for farmers – Training courses will focus on agro-ecology techniques, disease control, fowls illness treatment and small business management including project development, production planning, financial administration and product marketing.

In line with the Commission for Agriculture’s target to achieve self-sufficiency in poultry needs, the project will support the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) commitment of increasing food security and improving environmental management in agricultural sector. Actions will contribute to UN Delivering as One objective of creating green jobs in Rodrigues .

1.2 Organizational Background and Capacity to implement the project
The Young Entrepreneur of Rodrigues is an association composed by 15 members, from vulnerable groups whose income will largely depend from the poultry farming. They will start with a production of 200 chickens with the objective of setting up first a market on Rodrigues and afterwards, when well established, extend the selling to Mauritius.

The association received an Agriculture Permit by the Commission of Agriculture for the use and occupation of 10.693 m2 of land located at l’Union (Rodrigues) for the purpose of mixed farming. In this area, where the farm will be built, the NGO will implement the core activities of the project: rearing fowls, selling chicken meat and eggs, grow and sell chemical-free fruits and vegetables.

The goals of the NGO are the following:
- To move towards the development and empowerment of unemployed
- To be involved in agriculture and farming
- To initiate income generating activities for the NGO
- To alleviate poverty.
1.3 Project Objectives and Expected Results

The project will contribute to the development of income generating activities from sustainable farming of landrace fowl. Taking stock of the effective results gained through the GEF SGP project “Improving the Rodriguan Fowl Production in Rodrigues”, activities will serve to improve the protection of a landrace fowl and provide sustainable livelihoods for farmers from vulnerable groups.

With a blending of traditional and recent farming techniques, the local poultry rearing will become a model of sustainable business in the island and encourage farmers and planters to adopt climate-resilient agricultural practices.

By the end of the project, the following results are expected:
• Landrace poultry production increased;
• Sustainable poultry house set up;
• Greenhouse gas emissions minimized;
• Efficient water catchment and use established;
• New niche chemical free products developed;
• Farmers acquired new skills in agro-processing techniques;
• Farmers enhanced their knowledge in treating fowls illness;
• Farmers developed capacities to manage small businesses.
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Project Snapshot

Young Entrepreneur of Rodrigues
Area Of Work:
Climate Change Mitigation
Grant Amount:
US$ 50,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 12,592.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 26,325.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Notable Community Participation
Community will be actively involved in the whole duration of the project. Members of the NGO will be responsible for the project design and implementation. They will adopt a participatory and consensual management and provide wide dissemination of technical knowledge and lessons learnt
Gender Focus
The association groups both women and men in almost equal number. The project will be supporting the RRA in mainstreaming gender in agricultural activities. In accordance to RRA-UNFPA strategy for 2012-2016, all activities will be designed and implemented on the basis of a gender approach as following: - Gender constraints will be identified and minimised in each activity; - Women and men of the NGO will acquire new skills on agricultural and farming; - Women and men business skills will be improved; - Effective communication to gender-based associations and RRA Commission of Gender will be established and maintained; - Monitoring and evaluation reports will include gender indicators analysis; - Trainings will be equally accessible to women and men.
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Number of globally significant species protected by project 1
Increase in household income by increased income or reduced costs due to SGP project 7

Grantee Contact

Mr. Mario Lisette
Phone: 717 5116, 713 9582, 749 0028


Mont Plaisir, Rodrigues

SGP Country office contact

Mrs. Pamela Bapoo-Dundoo
(230) 213 53 84
(230) 212 14 11


2nd Floor, Sugar Industry Pension Fund Building, 1 Remy Ollier Street
Port Louis, Mauritius

Country Website