About Kuku Kienyeji Farm
An old Ghanian proverb says “Educate a man and you educate one person; educate a woman and you educate the nation!” At Kuku Kienyeji Farm we firmly believe that by empowering women economically, we are indeed empowering the whole community economically. Women are not only the best custodians of wealth in our societies, but the best stewards who ensure the wealth is equitably distributed to cater for all social-economic needs of the family unit including nutrition, healthcare, education, clean energy, savings & investment as well as other micro-economic developments.
We are an out-grower social franchise network for rural women in free range chicken farming using mobile technology to provide quality farm inputs, trainings, technical support, financing and access to markets for the women in our rural communities. Founding Kuku Kienyeji Farm in 2015, my name is Jeremy Riro; a 25 years old social entrepreneur based in Kenya, with a background in Entrepreneurship and Financial Analysis. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from the University of Nairobi; I am also a CPA and currently a CFA student.
The Problem We Are Solving
Having been born and raised in rural Kenya, we identified the challenges that women in our rural communities face in their daily struggles to earn a basic income and fend for their families. In every homestead in our rural communities there were and still there are free-range chicken being raised by our mothers. These chickens are reared as a source of food for the family or for sale in order to get some income and buy basic household necessities, pay hospital bills and school fees among many other expenses.
However, individual rural women practicing free-range chicken farming in Kenya are incapacitated in their efforts to grow their poultry businesses by 4 major challenges including: lack of access to quality farm inputs, agribusiness knowledge, financing and market linkages. These limitations condemn them to subsistence farming practices that contribute to the vicious cycle of extreme poverty in our rural communities.
Our Solution To The Problem
We are changing this status quo by economically empowering our mothers in the rural communities to transition from subsistence to commercial poultry farming. Our solution is a hub & spoke social franchise network model that brings together rural women in free range chicken farming and uses mobile technology to support them to efficiently & effectively access the 4 major capacity building services they need to grow their poultry enterprises. We reach our members through village hubs with a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 50 members each.
Using our online platform called “Kuku+”, we provide an online pooled procurement system that helps our network members to access quality products at affordable prices & from reliable suppliers. We also provide technical support and trainings to our network members via the mobile platform & thru field extension services to equip them with agronomic & business skills. In addition, we provide our network members with access to affordable & customized financing options thru our farmers’ owned SACCO, partnerships with financial institutions & suppliers as well as by capitalizing on their data in our online farmers’ platform. Finally, we manage a collective selling system that gives our network members a higher bargaining power in the market; and also provide direct access to physical markets and via our online market platform to eliminate agents and ensure maximum return on investment to our network members.
By providing the above services to our network members, we charge them an affordable annual franchise fee and participate in their revenue share as well as offer additional trainings to them at a fee in order to be sustainable. To grow our business model, we are including value addition in the value chain by the end of year 3 in order to maximize the returns from our social franchise network.
Scaling Plans For Kuku Kienyeji Farm
We are piloting our business model for 6 months with a minimum of 10 women after being awarded a $1,000 grant by Mpesa Foundation. We emerged the winners in Nakuru County, Kenya and we have already set up our network and are getting systems rolling on the ground. We are also developing our online platform “Kuku+” in collaboration with LakeHub which should be ready in the second quarter of 2016 for roll out. We shall scale in the Nakuru County within the first 12 months and thereafter launch in other counties to our target of 22 counties in 5 years.
We want to recruit an additional 40 women to join in the pilot phase to make the total number for the pilot to be 50 women. Each woman will be given 5 chickens at $5 per chicken (Total: $1000). Each will also be given a cage where the chicken will be reared at $50 per cage (Total: $2,000). Each woman will also get equipment worth $25 to kick them off (Total: $1,000). We shall also need $1,000 for administrative expenses over the pilot phase.
Our Social Impact
Our impact metrics are based on the number of women we have in our network and the positive social-economic growth they experience in terms of an increase in their household incomes; and the improvement of quality of life as reflected in their ability to: afford to pay school fees for their children, buy household necessities, afford healthcare services, afford nutritious food, afford clean energy and save for further investments among other micro-economic developments.
Finally, in the words of Margaret Thatcher; “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” You can always trust an economically empowered mother to improve the living standards of her family now and invest for a brighter future for her children, hence helping in reducing poverty today and sustainably creating wealth for our future generations. That is why at Kuku Kienyeji Farm we are committed to economically empowering our mothers in our rural communities; and urge other youths in Africa to join us in the good course to end poverty and create wealth sustainably in Africa.
Blogpost and illustrations submitted by Jeremy Riro (Nairobi, Kenya) – jeremyriro(at)gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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