The Kenya Climate-Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP), a government programme jointly supported by the World Bank, has distributed the Third Phase of 6,432 two months old improved Kienyeji chicks to farmers’ Common Interest Groups (CIGs) in Sekker and Siyoi Wards in West Pokot County.
The recipients included Kakamol Women Group, Ptolil, Kornis, Chepures Self-help Groups, Kipkaa Women Group, Kipsitot, Kipcherko, Achepakan, and Ywalameri Self-help Groups.
While addressing the press, West Pokot County KCSAP Coordinator, Philip Ting’aa, explained that the improved kienyeji chicken lay more eggs compared to indigenous ones and they also have a bigger body size in terms of meat.
“I have no doubt that these chicks are far much better in terms of growth rate and body size, they have fast growth and they continuously lay eggs for quite a long period of time,’’ he said.
Ting’aa added that they have distributed Rainbow Roster breed, which fetches more money in the market and are not prone to diseases such as Newcastle diseases.
“In this community, chicken is mostly considered to belong to women and youth, but many residences have since benefited from this program and now raise their own money and also invest in other different aspects,” he noted.
The Coordinator reiterated that this type of farming should be given priority because it only takes six months for the chicks to mature.
“Every person has the sole responsibility of venturing into this type of farming, since it takes a short period of time for these chicks to mature and produce eggs and meat at affordable prices,” added Ting’aa.
Meanwhile, a total of 44,314 Rainbow Roster chicks have so far been distributed to various women and youth groups within West Pokot, benefiting about 3,000 residents.
Ting’aa said the project has provided an excellent opportunity for transformation by enhancing resilience and coping mechanisms to climate change risks, among farmers and pastoral communities in the region and the country at large.
However, he expressed his worries that the project comes to an end mid of next year, even as they continue working, to ensure that many people benefit from the program at the end of the day.
One of the recipients, Susan Stimai from Kornis Self-help group who benefited from 264 two months old improved Kienyeji chickens said the project has brought reprieve in their lives, such that today they have a breed of hybrid Galla goats courtesy of KCSAP.
“We thank the government for KCSAP which has helped us improve our animal breeds and we can now boast of an improved breed of cattle, goats and sheep in the region, translating into more livestock earnings for our farmers,’’ she said.
However, Stimai requested the government to put more funds into agriculture value chains projects, including chicken rearing, dairy cattle, sheep and goat as well as planting sorghum, green grams and beans farming.
By Anthony Melly and Robert Kiprop