Mustafa Adamjee with some of his pigeons at the Mombasa's Mukomani ASK Show ground in 2016. Pigeons earn him more than Sh30,000 a pair. Photo by Laban Robert.
While more farmers are delving into the crowded chicken farming, Kwale County farmer - Mustafa Adamjee - is earning more than Sh30,000 by selling a pair of various pigeons alongside other ornamental birds.
Although the local market is still low, the exotic pigeons and doves he stocks at the Diani Bird Farm attract buyers internationally; they do not mind about the price, which may look a exaggerated to most people.
“Demand may be low. But for a customer who is looking for a certain bird, price is their last thing to worry about when they get it,” the youthful farmer said.
The ornamental birds are “live flowers flying within the compound”, he said, adding that it is about prestige and not the cost.
A pair of frillback pigeons fetches Adamjee Sh35,000. A pair of trumpeter pigeons also earns him a similar amount.
Chinese owl pigeons cost Sh30,000 while French mondain earn Sh40,000 per a pair. French mondain can grow to more than one kilo, which is sufficient for a small family meal.
Diani Beach was in April 2017 ranked the seventh best in Africa by Trip Advisor. Diani, which is less than 10 minutes drive from Ukunda – an Indian Ocean show town in Kwale where prestigious hotels are located – receives local and international tourists. Tourists are known not to shy away from spending such an amount on anything that pleases them.
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There is nothing special with these birds, the 19-year-old farmer said. They feed just like other birds and the cost of production is almost the same as that of the common doves and pigeons - which are sold at about Sh2,000 per pair, Adamjee said.
Diani Bird farm also has capuchins, archangels, giant homer, bantams, among other birds.
He started the ornamental birds business seven years ago with Sh2,000.
Doves and pigeons mature within six months just like chicken. But with a market, they can fetch more than 30 times.
These birds are becoming common in celebrations like weddings, where they symbolise peace.