Five months after Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru distributed chicks to various community groups across the county to enable them produce eggs and meat, members of Kutus Muslim Community Self-Help Group have now started making money from the project.
The 30-member group that operates within Kutus received 1,250 three-month-old improved kienyenji chicks which have since matured.
The hens have already started laying eggs while the cocks have also matured and the group is now capitalising on demand for chicken and selling them during this festive season.
The group’s chairman, Yaheh Juma, said that the project was a timely intervention by the county government and will go a long way in economically empowering the members. He said that they have so far sold about 100 cocks, each at Sh1,000. The group is targeting to sell another batch of around 500 cocks. It has also separated layers and will be using some of the eggs to hatch more chicks in order to restock their brood.
Mr Juma said that they are depositing all the money from sales in the group’s savings accounts with the aim of creating a capital base for each member to start his or her own such project. He added that the profit is what will be divided among the members.
Free chicken feed
Since the inception of the project, the group has been receiving free chicken feed as well as the required technical support from the county government. The group was also trained on poultry keeping, which includes daily care of the birds as well as group’s project management
Mr Juma said that the project will help eradicate poverty among the Muslim community in the area.
“The project has received a lot of admiration from the entire community and many of them are now realising it is possible to have a viable agricultural activity within our settlement,” said the group’s chairman.
He noted that at the moment, they are using members’ contributions to take care of the project requirements such as paying for a farmhand.
He added that apart from the sale of eggs and chicken for meat, they are also benefiting from the sale of manure from the chickens. He encouraged other community members to embrace such projects which do not require large pieces of land.
Ms Amina Wairimu, a member of the group, said that she has learnt a lot about poultry keeping and that she has already built her own chicken coop at her home in readiness for a similar project of her own. She said that together with other members of the group, they area out to challenge the notion that Muslims from the area cannot undertake such projects.
She said that the project has also enhanced cohesion among members and within the community, besides empowering women who previously did not have income generating activities.
The group is one of the 473 community groups that have been funded by the county government to undertake various agricultural projects such as poultry keeping, pig rearing, bee keeping, tomato and avocado farming, fish and dairy farming.
Governor Waiguru said that the projects funded by her administration are part of the Wezesha Kirinyaga programme which is aimed at making agricultural activities translate to better incomes and improved livelihoods for Kirinyaga residents.
She said that the projects will economically empower residents by enabling them to diversify their agricultural activities to reduce overreliance on traditional cash crops whose prices are unreliable.