What you need to know:
- It is aimed at increasing agricultural productivity and profitability in the county.
- The project seeks to plug the huge deficit in egg production in Kenya.
- Ms Waiguru observed that the returns from the eggs will enable farmers to cater for their families.
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has launched a project which will see farmers produce at least one million eggs per month.
The eggs project brings together 32 community groups, with each rearing 1,250 layers hens.
The project, which is expected to impact about 640 households, is one of the agricultural value chains that the Kirinyaga County government is implementing through the Wezesha Kirinyaga economic stimulus programme.
It is aimed at increasing agricultural productivity and profitability in the county.
The project seeks to plug the huge deficit in egg production in Kenya which for a long time has led to imports from neighbouring countries like Uganda and Tanzania.
After President Uhuru sealed loopholes that previously led to an influx of illegally imported eggs, Kenya is now facing a shortage in supply.
Right breed of hens
And in order to ensure that farmers get only the right breed of hens, the Kirinyaga County government acquired chicks from a certified breeder on behalf of the farmers’ groups.
A total of 40,000 chicks which were delivered to the groups in March have now matured into layers with about 100,000 eggs having already been collected in the past one week.
The hens are expected to attain optimum laying capacity from September.
“Wezesha poultry project is aimed at improving the livelihoods of Kirinyaga people mainly through women and youth and also offers alternative income source, thereby reducing overreliance on the conventional cash crop farming,” Governor Waiguru said during the launch at Kirinyaga Agricultural Training Centre (KATC) animal production unit in Kiaga.
Ms Waiguru observed that the returns from the eggs will enable farmers to cater for their families and also allow them to engage in other income generating activities since the group project does not take a lot of their time.
Once collected, the eggs taken to the cold storage facility at Kiaga for packaging and branding before being taken to the market. The storage facility handles about 3,500 trays at a time.
The county government sells all the eggs on behalf of the farmers through Kirinyaga Investment Development Authority (KIDA). This guarantees good returns for farmers.
Governor Waiguru said that the county government has already identified buyers who include local egg distributors, adding that there is still huge demand for the eggs.
To ensure that the farmers access affordable and quality feeds, Ms Waiguru’s administration has been distributing certified chicken feeds manufactured at the KATC animal production unit.
While day-to-day running of the project is done by the group members, the county’s veterinary and livestock extension officers offer technical support to ensure success.
The county government is extending the project to benefit more households with 42 more groups having been incorporated in the second phase of the project.
Other agricultural value chains under Wezesha Kirinyaga are avocado, dairy and tomato production.
On the Covid-19 pandemic, Governor Waiguru said at least 68 people have tested positive in Kirinyaga since May when the first case was reported in the region.
Out of these patients, three have succumbed to the disease while 62 have been treated and discharged.
Ms Waiguru revealed this on Wednesday when she toured the Kamweti animal feeds production unit in Kirinyaga Central.
She told residents that there is no cause for alarm as the disease as her administration is doing its best to manage the disease.
“As per now, only three positive cases are in our isolation wards," she said.