Kibwezi Hortipreneurs Youth Group (KHYG) is one among many agribusiness incubation programs that were launched by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), based upon its novel agriprenuer model. The group was founded in March 2015 and currently consists of 10 members aged between 23-30 years.
These members are all graduates with diverse educational backgrounds from some of the premier Universities in the region. The major activity of the group is farming, specifically irrigated vegetable and fish farming in semi-arid eastern Kenya.
The farm is located at the University of Nairobi dry land research station off the Nairobi-Mombasa commercial corridor, approximately 220 km from Kenya’s commercial capital.
The proposed project aims at rearing chicken on a commercial scale. The new improved breed Kienyeji chickens that the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) has introduced offers an endless promise of viability. This project will help meet the demand of the clientele and built strong customer relationships as well as contribute to the economy of the country.
Kibwezi is one of the driest parts in the country, so cases of malnutrition, poverty and all other desperate conditions that characterize dry land areas are common.
The project will first of all bridge the gap that has been left by other poultry farmers within Kibwezi District. The latter may lack access or information on the new breed. Furthermore, the project will also provide quality products to customers and maintain constant supply.
The importance of this step is replicating of the idea to the larger community, as chicken farming does not require a high startup cost.
The KALRO breed has some rare characteristics that will be favourable to the project area where the farm is located. The breed develops faster, has high productivity and it is resistant to diseases. The breed achieves 1.5 kg in about 5 months when the rest of the indigenous breeds take up to 8 months.
Most importantly, the breed has the ability to withstand harsh conditions. Its feathering system enables it to adjust faster so it can survive in both arid and semi-arid regions. This breed will help reduce a lot of risks in poultry farming. This fact in itself is motivating.
This is how the project will work:
- Buy two-week-old chicks from the nearby KALRO Center based in Kiboko, at Kshs100 each.
- Keep them until the age where they are able to lay eggs, i.e. 3 months.
- Keep eggs in the incubation machine to be hatched as chicks and increase the production.
- Become the supplier of the breed to the farmers who want to practice poultry raising at USD $1.20 per chick.
- Sell egg trays at USD $15 each in case one wants to purchase fertilized eggs.
- Sell chickens at the market after a period of 1 year when they have attained the required market size, i.e. 2-3.5 kg, to make room for the younger chicks.
A fully grown Kienyeji cockerel will go for USD $8 while a hen will cost USD $6.
At KHYG we commit ourselves to carrying out more consultations on poultry farming and more so on the new breed to ensure smooth operations and proper marketing strategies.
With the assistance of IITA in partnership with the University of Nairobi, KHYG has a place and space where it can put up structures for raising chicken and any other incidental structures. In addition to that the group has been able to participate in outreach programs for farmers keeping chickens.
Proposed Budget for One Year
800 chicks at USD $1 each and incubator machine that accommodates 264 eggs at USD $700, equivalent to USD $1500 total
Materials for construction of structures and cages (iron sheets, bricks, cables, cement, sawdust, nails, timber, electricity) USD $1500
Trays for keeping eggs before they are taken for incubation and transport USD $200
Feed (chick, growers and layers mash) and vaccination from day 1 USD $1700
Contingencies USD $100
1st month: collecting materials and putting up the necessary structures.
2nd month: introducing the first lot of chicks to the structures, feeding with chick mash and starting up vaccination programs.
3rd and 4th months feeding and continue with the vaccination if needed.
5th month setting up incubation system.
6th and 7th month colleting eggs for incubation.
8th month disposing of wood shaving and replacing them with fresh ones.
9th month hatching own chicks.
10th month introducing new chicks to the structures and vaccination.
11th and 12th months selling the first lot at the market.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Jessica Mwende (Kenya) – iitakibwezihortipreneurs[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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