Kenchic Ltd. has opened its first peri-urban poultry center in Kiambu County, 25km north-west of Nairobi, as the next step in building a nationwide network to provide Kenya’s growing number of poultry farmers with day-old chicks, veterinary and husbandry services, and technical assistance.
The move comes just a year after Kiambu lost a significant number of birds in one of the country’s worst ever outbreaks of the deadly poultry disease, Newcastle Disease, and follows forecasts by the Food and Agricultural Organisation that the country needs to double its poultry output over the next three decades to keep up with the growing demand for chicken meat in the country.
Kenchic developed its poultry center model as a one-shop stop for local poultry farmers, opening poultry centers in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Nyeri, and Meru. It is now launching the newest center or one-stop-shop in Rironi in a move to get closer to farmers in the county with the company’s vital technical assistance services. Key functions of the poultry centers include providing essential poultry products that farmers need such as day-old chicks, feeds, equipment, multi-vitamins, vaccines, and disinfectants, as well as technical assistance.
Run by a registered vet, the center will serve an estimated 6000 poultry farmers in Kiambu, many of whom were affected by the disease outbreak last year.
“At Kenchic, we vaccinate every chick at birth against Newcastle Disease, Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD) or Gumboro and Marek’s Disease (MD), which means that we have an opportunity with this new center to play a social and economic role, as well as an agricultural role, in rebuilding Kiambu’s poultry industry,” said Mr. Jim Tozer, the managing director of Kenchic.
The center will help in providing protection against a range of other diseases too, offering related vaccines, as well as vitamins to promote growth, equipment to ensure chicken get regular food and drink in sufficient quantities, and knowhow in providing sufficient space and protection from the weather, pests, wildlife, and infections to prevent them becoming stressed, which affects both their health and their growth.
“Extension services are often overstretched, as budgets get tighter, but there will always be a technical representative at the center who is fully trained to assist walk-in farmers, at no additional costs and we are providing vets who will visit farms to resolve possible problems should it be escalated to them,” said Mr. Jim Tozer.
Over the years, Kenchic has emerged as a leader in the poultry industry and the region’s leading supplier of day-old chicks, applying international agricultural best practices to produce the best quality eggs for chick hatching and healthy poultry. Its investment in the new poultry center network marks its determination to support the growth of subsistence and commercial poultry farming in the region by ensuring local farmers are equipped to maintain the best farming practices.