Poultry farmers in Nyandarua and Laikipia Counties have been urged to embrace new improved indigenous chicken to boost egg production even as the church pooled resources to buy stock for farmers.
Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) Director Dr. George Keya said that the improved Kienyeji chicken produced more than 250 eggs per year, which could turn tables in Laikipia and parts of Nyandarua counties.
“In four months, the chicken is ready for slaughter and at this age they can start laying eggs, but they cannot brood.
“We urge farmers to acquire incubators that they can use to breed the improved chicken for other farmers and as a way of meeting the increased demand of eggs in the country that remains unmet,” he noted.
Speaking at an event that saw 5, 000 farmers drawn from the Catholic Diocese of Nyahururu receive 11, 000-day-old chicks, Dr Keya noted that Extension Service Providers from KALRO were available to walk with the farmers.
KALRO has been spearheading the AgriFI Kenya Climate Smart Productivity Project that will see the farmers benefit in five years to a tune of Sh800 million.
On his part, Bishop Joseph Mbatia noted that various projects including poultry farming had been rolled out to provide families with a decent livelihood, adding, “We don’t serve Catholic faithful alone but all humanity. Indigenous chicken is meant to improve the nutrition intake among the residents.
“This is a way of improving their economic well-being as we also target spiritual nourishment of the congregants,” noted Mbatia.
County Executive Committee for agriculture Njenga Kahiro said the county had a total of 400, 000 chicken translating to Sh155 million from the sale of eggs last year.“
“We want to partner with the church and other organizations to have the farmers get chicken that have a shorter turn-around time for increased returns.
“We will soon purchase 1, 000 cocks from farmers already in the project for distribution to others in a bid to improve the breeds across the county,” said Kahiro, adding that County Extension Officers were available to offer Veterinary Services and expertise.
By Anne Sabuni