Empowering women through sustainable conservation: Flora Gomes’ story

In the Rupununi region of southwestern Guyana, 59-year-old Flora Gomes becomes a renowned poultry farmer – with significant implications for local nutrition and incomes, as well as for wildlife conservation.

Last year, the resident of St Ignatius Village took part in a poultry competition organized by the Rupununi Livestock Producers Association (RLPA), a local organization supported by the Sustainable Wildlife Management (SWM) program in Guyana, which aims to nature conservation and food security to improve security. Through the competition, households and small poultry farmers assessed weight gain in small flocks of local breeds, using a range of local feeds.

The winners – including Gomes – received a small start-up poultry farming package. As a result, Gomes was inspired to start raising poultry to produce eggs for her family. “I started out with the intention of just feeding my family as we have always preferred locally produced eggs: they are much healthier – you can see and taste the difference,” she said. Her flock exceeded her expectations and she started selling surplus eggs in her village. Now she hopes to expand into the sale of chicken meat as well.