The County Government of Nakuru has embarked on a campaign to equip farmers with modern farming technologies and tools in an effort to enhance food security in the region.
The County Director of Livestock Production Ms. Virginiah Ngunjiri said the county was collaborating with Kenya Agricultural Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), to ensure farmers were well trained on the use of the new technologies in addition to providing high yielding certified seeds.
She cited provision of improved Kienyeji chicken breeds that KARLO in partnership with the county was providing to poultry farmers adding that the new breed was more profitable to the farmers as it was high yielding, fast maturing, easy to maintain and disease resistant.
The new breed chicken is also said to have the ability to lay from 220 to 280 eggs in a year which is double the yield capacity of ordinary indigenous chicken.
The Director was speaking in Gilgil sub-county where she donated 15 incubators, a backup generator, automatic power regulator and 2640 fertilized eggs to groups of poultry farmers. She said the county will distribute an additional 340 incubators this financial
year in an effort to improve on poultry production.
Saying that her department was committed to aiding the attainment of food security and improvement of agricultural economy in the county. She emphasized the need for the establishment of a basic framework that will help to attain food security goals.
Ngunjiri acknowledged that the incubator technology was important in developing the value chains that let small agricultural businesses thrive in developing countries and emerging international markets.
She said all farmers who received the incubators were trained on handling and operationalizing the technology and also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the county government to ensure accountability and proper maintenance of the machinery.
The Director assured the farmers that the county will continue consulting and cooperating with the national government, other counties and non-state actors to stimulate accelerated sustainable agricultural development in the county, ensure market access and socio-economic development for the betterment of the farmers.
While noting that poultry has been increasingly recognized as one of the entry points to address the problems of malnutrition, food insecurity, low income and poverty as a whole, Ngunjiri assured that the county will work to ensure inclusion of farmer and farmer organizations, civil society, private sector and development partners in all decision making process of planning implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
“Agriculture contributes 26 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) directly and 27 per cent indirectly in Kenya, 30 percent of this comes from the poultry sub-sector” said Ngunjiri.
Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture indicate that Kenya has an estimated poultry population of 31million birds. Out of these, 75 per cent consist of indigenous chicken, 22 percent of broilers and layers and one per cent of breeding stock. The traditional chicken is mostly
kept in rural areas while layers and broilers are mainly reared in the urban areas.