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Poultry farmers benefit with feed mixing machine

Some 988 women in Laikipia involved in poultry farming have benefitted from a chicken feed mixing machine aimed to cushion them against high feed prices attributed by drought.

The feed mixing machine valued at Sh 310,000 was donated by United Nation Women (UNW) through Korean International and Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

It will see the women drawn from Tigithi, Umande and Mukogodo East wards manufacture their own poultry feeds and sell the surplus to local farmers.

“This feed mixing machine will help us in a big way because lack of feeds is what led us to appeal for donation. We are optimistic that in the next few months our businesses will thrive,” Ogilgel women group chairlady Agnes Cherotich from Umande ward and where the mixing machine is based told KNA.

Ms Cherotich says that with the machine, they could now easily access a variety of feeds including layers’ mash, chick mash and growers mash, a boost to their poultry farming venture that was almost being brought to a halt due to exacerbating drought situation in the county.

“I have got a lot of benefit due to poultry farming because, when I sell chicken, I am able to save money for future needs, buy more chicken and educate children among other personal needs,” said Cherotich.

With over 183,000 people in Laikipia facing starvation due to drought that has contributed to high mortality of livestock and low birth rates according to a report released yesterday by Kenya Food Security Steering group, Ms Cherotich said poultry farming is not much affected and urged residents to venture in poultry keeping for economic sustainability.

Gitugi women self-help group Chairlady Purity Wamuyu notes that with poultry farming, the group has increased in membership from 8 to 27 members who, apart from poultry farming, do table banking. In a month, they make Sh40,000 and above from the poultry business.

Hand in Hand East Africa Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Albert Wambugu reveals that they aimed to create resilience to local communities and enhance food security through climate smart agricultural technologies.

“We put a lot of emphasis on food nutrition and when we come up with such projects, it is because there is climate change and drought has persisted. So, we have come up with a project to empower women through agriculture,” said the CEO.

Wambugu points out that they encouraged women groups to do farming as a business and train them on governance and leadership.

Hand in Hand East Africa is a non-profit organization that helps local communities alleviate poverty through entrepreneurship training.

Laikipia East Deputy County Commissioner Patrick Muli urged residents to embrace new farming methods.

The feed mixing machine was commissioned by Laikipia deputy governor Reuben Kamuri who said the government is ready to partner with other stakeholders in bid to boost farming in the county.

By Muturi Mwangi

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