KENYA – The United Nations Women (UN Women) has donated a feed mixing machine valued at KES310,000 (US$2,458) to women in poultry farming in Kenya to cushion them against high feed prices.

The donation, made through the Korean International and Cooperation Agency (KOICA) is set to benefit about 988 women in Laikipia county.

The feed mixing machine was commissioned by Laikipia deputy governor Reuben Kamuri who said the government is ready to partner with other stakeholders in a bid to boost farming in the county.

Kenya’s poultry sector is grappling with rising feed costs following low maize production and global supply disruptions, forcing the cost of eggs to be updated upwards from an average of KES360 (US$3) per tray to KES640 (US$5).

In addition, the increase in the cost of feed is forcing poultry farmers to reduce their stock due to the inability to maintain it and this leads to the ultimate surge in egg prices because of the shortage now created.

The feed mixing machine, however, will see the women from Tigithi, Umande, and Mukogodo East wards manufacture their poultry feeds and sell the surplus to local farmers.

The machine targets women who have formed self-help groups in rearing poultry among them the Ogilgel women group and Gitugi women self-help group, while the mixing machine will be based in the Umande ward.

“This feed mixing machine will help us in a big way because the shortage of feeds is what led us to appeal for the donation. We are optimistic that in the next few months, our businesses will thrive,” said Agnes Cherotich, the charlady of  Ogilgel women’s group.

She added that with over 183,000 people in Laikipia facing starvation due to the ongoing drought poultry farming is not much affected compared to livestock and urged residents to venture into poultry keeping for economic sustainability.

Backing her statement, Purity Wamuyu, the charlady of the Gitugi women’s self-help group noted that with poultry farming, the group has increased in membership from 8 to 27 members who, apart from poultry farming, do table banking an accumulated profit of KS40,000 and above from the poultry business in a month.

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Hand in Hand East Africa is a non-profit organization that helps local communities alleviate poverty through entrepreneurship training.

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