Farmers in Siaya county have been challenged not to love eating chicken more than they are willing to rear and have them multiply in their homesteads.
This was last week during the official launch of the Upendo Siaya (FSA) Sacco poultry aggregation centre in Mur-Malanga where a demonstration of the economic benefits of poultry was done.
“Nearly every household in Siaya has chicken but the majority are not rearing them to a level that the practice can be commercialised for higher economic benefits,” said Kenneth Owuor, Siaya county coordinator of the Agricultural Sector Development Support Program (ASDSP).
Owuor urged farmers to embrace value chains through organizations such as Upendo Sacco in order to improve entrepreneurial mindset and market access.
The ASDSP Coordinator observed that market access has been a big challenge for poultry farmers in the region.
However, he explained that value chains will ensure sustainable production and supply to the market.
“The future of this county lies heavily on this value chain. We are happy it is already being embraced by the youth, women and children through the ‘Kuku Masomo Bora Initiative’.
Siaya County Heifer International (Kenya) director Esta Kamau, whose organization helped Upendo Sacco build the Aggregation Centre emphasized the need for farmers to go big in poultry production.
“The problem of market access is now solved by the aggregation centre. Farmers will only need to rear chickens in their homes and then aggregates them here at Upendo Sacco in Mur-malanga.”
Off-takers can then pick the birds from the collation centre in Mur-Malanga and other satellite centres in Uranga, Boro and Karemo, all within Siaya county.
Kamau observed that the chicken businesses can educate children, sustain families and do mighty things in society.
The livestock production officer of the Hatching Hope project under Heifer International Denis Ogaso called on more poultry farmers to join the poultry value-chain organization.
“We are keen to improve not only nutrition but also economic livelihoods of the people through sustainable poultry production,” Ogaso told the Star.
Since 2020, Heifer International has partnered with Upendo Sacco to support extension services, training and member mobilisation and linkages to various value chain actors.
Upendo Sacco chairperson Michael Okatch called on residents of Siaya to embrace poultry production since farm crops have been failing due to the harsh climate.
Also, Okatch observed that the entire Siaya county has no cash crop and people have been engaged in subsistence farming with zero profits for the longest time.
“Since we have no cash crop in our area, chicken is the best option for our farmers.”
The Sacco orders, on behalf of members, day-old chicks and feeds, before distributing them for rearing by individual farmers in their homesteads.
Mature ones are then aggregated for sale at their centres in Mur-malanga, Uranga, Boro, and Karemo.