Although South Africa is food secure at national level, most rural households in the country remain food insecure. KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is one of the provinces that is predominately rural, with dependency rations, poverty and food insecurity highest in the rural areas. A situation analysis was conducted to investigate the feasibility of promoting production of indigenous chickens for household food security and income generation in the rural households of KZN province of South Africa. Data was generated through surveys, key informant interviews and focus group discussions. Results indicated that most respondents who kept indigenous chickens were women and most of them were advanced in years. Only 34% of the households had some poultry housing structures in existence and only 40% of these existing structures were in good condition. Diseases of indigenous chickens were attributed to local outbreaks, failure to vaccinate, poor hygiene and inbreeding. Most households experienced tremendous difficulties in raising indigenous chickens due to lack of extension services. There was also a notable lack of the required husbandry skills, training and opportunity to improve upon their household poultry production sustainably. It was recommended that the KZN Department of Agriculture design and implement a research and training programme aimed at building the capacity of women in managing indigenous chickens.
Key words: Indigenous chickens, household food security, rural KwaZulu-Natal.
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