January marks a major milestone for a flagship agriculture development project supported by the International Egg Foundation (IEF) and Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) in Swaziland.
The newly built egg laying operation at Project Canaan welcomed its first flock of pullets this month. The egg barns, built in partnership with the non-for-profit organization Heart for Africa as part of their larger development initiative, will deliver thousands of nutritious eggs to orphaned children. This will enhance Heart for Africa’s existing feeding program which already delivers 74,000 hand-packed meals each month to rural communities through a network of 30 churches.
The partnership between Egg Farmers of Canada and Heart for Africa, supported by the International Egg Foundation, was announced in late 2014 and since then, volunteer leaders and farmers from the Canadian egg industry have helped locals build the entire egg farm from the ground up. The project team is also teaching Heart for Africa staff and Swazi locals the farming practices commonly used throughout Canada so they can establish a long-term strategy to sustain the operation over time.
“When we first heard about Heart for Africa, we recognized an opportunity for the humble egg and knew we wanted to be involved,” said Tim Lambert, chief executive officer at EFC. “With 6 grams of high-quality protein and fourteen essential vitamins and nutrients, eggs are the perfect food to feed a hungry world. Egg Farmers of Canada, through the International Egg Foundation, is proud to be part of this project.”
Sustainable agriculture is crucial for countries experiencing food insecurity and malnutrition. Egg farming is a perfect way to ensure protein and vitamins are incorporated into the diet of undernourished people anywhere in the world.
“This egg farm will serve as a showcase for other developing countries and regions afflicted by malnutrition and hunger,” said Julian Madeley, managing firector of the IEF. “When organizations like Heart for Africa and Egg Farmers of Canada partner with local farmers, the diets, well-being and outcomes for populations can be improved greatly. Eggs in particular, given the efficiency of hens and scalability of operations, can have an incredible impact in terms of nutrition and sustainable food supply.
There has been a collaborative industry response to Project Canaan with a tremendous coming together to donate the equipment and provide resources necessary to move to the operational phase of the egg farm. Many thanks go all of the sponsors and supporters of the project who have provided equipment, expertise and cash.”
The initiative is expected to positively impact thousands of people living in the region by providing high-quality protein that is essential for human growth and development.