The government of Kenya has partnered with World Bank (WB) to upgrade poultry farming in the country. This move will see indigenous chicken production triple and help meet the country’s rising demand for chicken meat and eggs.
The Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) Director General Dr. Eliud Kireger said the World Bank sponsored program will in the coming six months help produce over 240,000 indigenous chicks compared to 78,000 produced previously- against a demand of 300,000 chicks per month across the country.
According to media reports, Kenya is currently producing 60% of poultry meat and 50% of eggs demand with the rest being imported from neighboring countries. Furthermore, KALRO has been unable to meet the rising demand of the indigenous chicks for a number of years.
The Director General expressed his optimism that the newly introduced indigenous chicken has the capacity of laying 230-250 eggs per year compared to the local one that lays around 100 eggs over the same period. However, the cost of chick feeds continues to be the main challenge facing poultry farmers in the country.
Fish-meal, one of the poultry feed ingredients is very expensive for farmers, resulting in an increase in cost of poultry production. Meanwhile, KALRO is working with partners and researchers to come up with alternative sources of poultry feeds to help reduce cost of production for farmers.
The organization, in the last couple of years came up with vaccines to contain the spread of poultry diseases like Newcastle which is highly contagious. Many poultry diseases were viral and could be contained through vaccination. The cost of feed, however, remains a big challenge for farmers, with some looking for cheaper alternative components to poultry feed such as black-soldier-fly.