Before he started poultry farming in 2018, Andrew Makatiani, who resides in Musonga village in Lurambi, Kakamega County, worked as a scriptwriter for secondary school dramas.
Script writing was, however, not well paying, prompting Andrew to try his hand at something else. He settled on poultry farming after earning Sh5,000 from a sale of 25 chicks.
On an eighth-of-an-acre farm in his rural home in Kakamega County, Andrew established his poultry business that operates under the name Lianfam Africa, with a capital of Sh 150,000.
The money was partially used to purchase an incubator and a generator. He started with 100 chicks, which earned him Sh35,000, inspiring him to do more.
Despite not having knowledge or a strong background in raising chickens, Andrew made profits in his first sale, which was helped by the high demand for chicks.
“During my first year of business, I made a profit of Sh3.4 million; in 2020, the profit margin dropped to Sh2.8million due to the Covid-19 pandemic, while in 2021, our average profit bounced to Sh4 million, which has enabled me to import equipment worth Sh1.8 million to boost my business,” said Andrew.
According to him, the secret of his success is goodwill, determination, hard work, and patience, as well as networking with the right people and having a business plan.
“This venture has been a life-changing experience. I have so far signed contracts with Kakamega and Vihiga county governments and other partners worth more than Sh14 million. The biggest contract I have signed is Sh9 million with the Kakamega County government,” he said.
The business has also partnered with One Acre Fund, enabling it to sell chicks to its farmers in four counties, namely, Kakamega, Trans Nzoia, Bungoma, and Vihiga.
He said it takes about 27 to 28 weeks when the birds are ready for the market, meaning a poultry farmer starts earning his income in just 31 weeks after successfully starting his business.
Andrew double up as a trainer and provides information to aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs to help them build their businesses in a way that is intentional, manageable, and profitable.
“I am satisfied when people tell me that they are inspired to do their own poultry business because of my small influence, and every time I produce good quality products and contribute to food sustainability in our community and create jobs, I am happy,” he said.
He has employed five employees and also engages boda boda riders and other transporters to distribute the chicks.
He advised those who want to invest in the poultry business to choose a good location, and type of poultry bird, build a good housing system, and learn as much as they can regarding chicken rearing.