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Kirinyaga farmers reap big from egg hatchery business

Poultry farming groups in Kirinyaga County are reaping big from egg hatchery ventures that have seen them earn over Sh 1 million in the last few months.

Consequently, driven by the increased number of chicken farmers and demand for white meat, the farmers ventured into egg hatching business through the support of County Government, Wezesha Kirinyaga Empowerment program.

The farmers’ groups were issued with egg incubators that are supplying chicks to farmers across the County with an estimate of over 10,000 chicks’ worth over Sh 1 million.

The 19 groups involved in poultry are part of the 473 community organizations that have been funded by the County Government to undertake various agricultural projects such as poultry keeping, pig rearing, bee keeping, tomato and avocado farming, fish and dairy farming.

County Government gave out 19 incubators and generators for power back-up in the First Phase of the project. Each of the machines has a capacity to hatch 1,050 chicks at a go.

The project has economically empowered residents to diversify their agricultural activities, reducing overdependence on Traditional Cash Crops, whose prices are unreliable.

County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Agriculture and Livestock Development, Dr. John Gachara, says that the egg hatching initiative has helped in the sustainability of the poultry keeping project.

Gachara said as a County they are planning to expand by issuing an additional two incubators per-ward so as to get more people to venture into the business.

Additionally, the County will supply free feeds for the poultry for the first six months; thereafter, the farmers are also able to get the feed at a subsidized price.

Miriam Wakuthii of Cera Kimandi Self Help Group says that apart from giving them the incubators, the county government has also trained them on how to undertake egg hatching business.

“We are very grateful to the County for holding our hand. We have started making profit from this venture. We have increased the hatching success rate to 90 per cent,” said Wakuthii.

Another beneficiary of the program, Benard Njeru said the project was not only helping farmers to feed their families, but was also bridging the global food and nutrition security gap, while boosting local economies and providing a platform for educating farmers.

“As a group we had no financial capacity to buy the incubators, but the County Government helped us and we are now reaping the fruits of this investment,” said Njeru.

By Mutai Kipngetich

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