SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS

Kenya to pilot 12-year poultry project Hatching Hope

US-based NGO says major problems are low-qualilty poultry, low-quality feeds and poor husbandry.

In Summary
  • The 12-year Hatching Hope project will be launched in Nairobi, Kisumu, Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Siaya, Migori and Homa Bay counties.
  • The project will give farmers training, tools and chicks to establish profitable poultry businesses. It will focus on market linkages, farmers groups and feeds manufacturers. 
Nakuru county Livestock chief officer Enos Amuyunzu during the Heifer International Hatching Hope Kenya stakeholders meeting at a Nakuru hotel.
HATCHING HOPE: Nakuru county Livestock chief officer Enos Amuyunzu during the Heifer International Hatching Hope Kenya stakeholders meeting at a Nakuru hotel.
Image: LOISE MACHARIA

Kenya will pilot a poultry-raising initiative, Hatching Hope, to help farmers generate income, eradicate poverty and ensure food security.

The programme will be undertaken in Nairobi, Kisumu, Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Siaya, Migori and Homa Bay.

The starting date has not been established.

Hatching Hope aims to equip middle- and lower-income farmers with the tools, training, markets and chicks to start and grow the poultry business.

The 12-year project by US-based NGO Heifer International prioritises countries with significant poverty and malutrition. Heifer and Cargill, a US-based global food corporation, have a significant presence in those countries.

India and Mexico are the two other pilot countries. The programme is to be expanded to other countries in their regions.

Speaking during a stakeholders meeting in Nakuru, Heifer International business development officer Nathaniel Otieno said Kenya was picked because it is a major business hub in Africa.

The other pilot countries are India and Mexico.

Otieno said the programme will finance farmers' groups, connect producers to markets and promote the nutritional value of eggs and poultry. It aims to build sustainable markets.

He said the project in Nairobi, Nakuru and Eldoret will work with individual farmers and those in groups by creating linkages to other value chain players. 

In Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay and Migori, the project will bring poultry farmers into producer organisations. The goal is to have 25 groups with 1,600 farmers in each county.

Otieno said the project in collaboration with county governments will involve poultry experts, feeds manufacturers, hatchers, distributors, farmers and markets - all the way to consumers.

Poor quality poultry, expensive feeds and poor husbandry are major problems, Otieno said. Manufacturers will be trained in proper feeds composition.

He said project will create a profitable poultry business through improved access to credit, production skills, business knowledge, market linkages and group cohesion.

Nakuru county Livestock chief officer Enos Amuyunzu said poultry is key to generating income and employing women and youth.

Chicken and eggs are among the best and cheapest sources of high-quality protein, he said.

(Edited by V. Graham)