Kenya: Poultry Health for Sustainable Production
Poultry farming in Kenya is not only an economic driver but also a source of nutrition, livelihood, and employment. Its multifaceted contributions make it a crucial component of the country's agricultural landscape, addressing both economic and social needs.
The domestic demand is about 300,000 chicken per month for the whole country, but Kenyan producers can cover only 60% in poultry meat and 50% in eggs, the rest being imported from countries like Tanzania and Uganda.
That coupled with the fact that there are a lot of smallholders keeping poultry was one of the reasons that animal health is a topic under the Kenya Netherlands Agriculture working group. Under animal health we have the veterinary working group where we cooperate on poultry genetics, poultry health and animal feed among others. The poultry sector is an important sector for both Kenya and the Netherlands.
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This could not have been more true for Machakos County. Once famed as the highest producer of poultry in Kenya it is now the 6th largest producer. The County is gearing towards ensuring that it increases the production and retains its previous position.
As a result of this a poultry health seminar themed Poultry health for sustainable production was organized in cooperation between the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Machakos County.
The seminar was facilitated by expert from the Royal GD, an organization working on animal health and production. The participants included over 84 poultry farmers and extension officers drawn from various parts of Machakos County.
Poultry Health Seminar
During the opening remarks the Agriculture Counsellor of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands welcomed the participants and thanked the County for the cooperation received. “Poultry is important for both the Netherlands and Kenya, and it is the reason that we are part of this event.”, Mr. Bart remarked.
Dr. Charles Ochodo, Deputy Director at Directorate of Veterinary services provided an overview of the poultry sector in Kenya.
“Apart from the main challenges facing farmers in production a key factor that needs to be considered is the attitude of farmers. A change in attitude will drive the farmers to seek ways to improve their production as they practice farming as a business” - Dr. Charles Ochodo (Deputy Director at Directorate of Veterinary services)
The County Minister of Agriculture Hon. Joel Nzomo thanked the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for the capacity building for the farmers in his county.
“The farmers were drawn from all the wards in the County. The training will enable the farmers to make poultry farming as a business and therefore improve their livelihood” - Hon. Joel Nzomo (Machakos County Minister of Agriculture)
The first part of the training focused on knowing your chicken. The biggest preventive measure is to observe your poultry on a regular basis to detect any changes early. Key things to focus on are aspects for instance:
- Look, listen, smell, and have a feel for your poultry.
- What is happening and why is it happening?
- What should I do?
Other aspects that were discussed were disease monitoring as well as ensuring proper administration of vaccination.
As a way of learning from each other a farmer who produces eggs was called to share her experience. She outlined that she had been fortunate to have a mentor to walk with her during the journey. At the same time, she called upon the farmers to come together to reduce some of the costs of input.
“For instance, instead of buying small quantities of feed per person, you can combine and buy good quality feed from a reputable supplier. In this way you save on cost but also get the benefit of good feed,” - Angela (Murang'a Farmer)
In closing the Chief of Staff of Machakos County Mr. Lawrence Ngovi encouraged the farmers to learn from the training and share the information with other farmers. He also challenged the farmers to look around the county as well to draw inspiration from other farmers who are successfully producing poultry and eggs in the county.
“From the knowledge gained I hope that you can at least increase by 100 chickens before the year ends,” - Mr. Lawrence Ngovi (Chief of Staff, Machakos County)
The seminar was a success drawing from the learning that took place from the well-attended event. We wish to thank the farmers and the extension officers who attended the event. The collaboration between County of Machakos, Directorate of veterinary services and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands was instrumental in making this event a success.
By equipping farmers with the necessary skills and knowledge, the aim is to enhance the overall sustainability. As participants apply these learnings in their own farms, the ripple effect will contribute to the growth and development of the entire poultry sector, ensuring a brighter future for poultry farmers and meeting the increasing demand for high-quality poultry products.
Presentations Royal GD Health
Click the below links to access the presenations done by GD Health during this seminar:
- Poultry Health Seminar 2023 Kenya part 1 - looking at the chickens | Rapport | Agroberichten Buitenland
- Poultry Health Seminar 2023 Kenya part 2 - PM and biosecurity | Rapport | Agroberichten Buitenland
- Poultry Health Seminar 2023 Kenya part 3 - vaccination | Rapport | Agroberichten Buitenland
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