Uasin Gishu Based CBO abandons crop farming for chicken rearing

CHICKS, Mary Poultry farm, nakuru, by Laban Robert.JPG

Berur farmers group has resorted to chicken rearing due multiple crop losses

Many smallholder crop farmers across Kenya as face many challenges including unreliable rainfall and low crop yields due to the existing climate change that has led to unpredictable rainfall patterns and crop diseases and pests such as fall army worm which has devastated more than 700,000 ha of crops.

Berur Community Based Organization, a farmers group with thirty members in Kapseret, Uasin Gishu County decided to venture into indigenous poultry rearing after many crop failures and losses in their farms.

The members joined hands in 2013 after receiving training and advice from the Agricultural Sector Development Programme and the Anglican Development Sector. The two organizations trained the farmers on Selection and breeding, Disease diagnosis and management, vaccine handling and usage, vices related to production and their management, hatchery management, chick brooding and placement, feeding and feed formulation, housing and record keeping.

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Rael Tai, the County Coordinator Agricultural Sector Development Programme notes that one of the big challenges the farmers faced in the initial stages was the control of diseases in the chicken. “Before, farmers had challenges in controlling diseases like gumboro, Newcastle & coccidiosis, but with simple training, the farmers are now experiencing minimal disease attack on their chicken” observes Rael.

Anne Mengich, one of the members of the group says she started rearing chicken more than 30 years ago though on a small scale but she has now fully embraced chicken rearing. “I really love this work as it has enabled me to educate my children and sustain my family” says Anne.

The group collectively owns more than 500 chicken which they manage jointly. The eggs from the chicken are sold in hotels within Eldoret town and profits shared based on the shares of the members.