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Plenty of Poultry Farming Challenges

11 August 2008

KENYA - Poultry farmers in Nyanza Province are facing high production costs and a shortage of day-old chicks.

The industry also also faces shortages of products required for proper husbandry, reports Business Daily Africa.

Nyanza Provincial Dairy Officer, Raphael Kitonga, says that some farmers may be forced to pull out of the business.

"The price of poultry feed has gone up over the years while that of eggs has stagnated. As a result, some farmers might be forced to quit the venture," said Mr Kitonga.

Currently, a 20 kilogramme bag of growers and layers mash is retailing at between 490 and 550 shillings (KES), while the cost was KES250 three years ago.

"Between 2003 and 2004, the prices of feeds went up and several farmers abandoned the rearing of poultry. The sector picked up recently, but with the prices of feeds on the rise the farmers may opt out," Mr Kitonga said.

He said that the sector is yet to be fully exploited. Only Lekchick and Ken Chick have hatcheries in the Western Kenya region. Poultry feeds are supplied by Unga Feeds, Milling Corporation of Kenya and Lake Feeds. A poultry processing plant in Kisumu is planned.

Ugachick, a Ugandan firm, is also keen on setting up a plant in Kisumu for the processing of poultry feeds and products in addition to supplying of eggs, broilers, layers and chicks to business people.

The firm’s business consultant, James Semakadde, said that the company sees opportunities in the market. "The sector is not fully exploited in terms of quality of the feeds, chicks, price of the products and reliability of supply," explained Mr Semakadde.

The firm plans to import 10,000 day-old chicks and has already partnered with a local agency, Nyatieny Kiddi Poultry Farm, which will market the company products in Kenya.

Ugachick intends to penetrate the market through aggressive pricing and interactions with farmers. "There is a disjointed link between the farmers and poultry companies in Kenya. We will give training on poultry production under the supervision of the local partnering company," added Mr Semakadde.

A crate of eggs sells currently sells at KES240-270, according to the newspaper report.

A team of veterinary officers visited Ugachick’s operations in Uganda before giving it the go ahead to set up businesss in Kenya.

ThePoultrySite News Desk



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