Kenyan poultry farmers in the Central province earned Sh 4.1 billion (US$47.3 million) in 2011 from the sales of chicken meat and eggs, as the industry grew significantly due to an increase in demand, according to Central Provincial Director of Livestock Production Mary Kanyi.
More farmers in the region are embracing poultry due to the current small size of farms as a result of a high population density. "A high demand for poultry products in the country's major urban areas greatly fuelled the industry to thrive, with local hatcheries struggling to cope with the current demand by farmers for day-old chicks," said Kanyi.
The current price for a day-old chick in the region is Sh 60 (US$0.69) for broilers and Sh 100 (US$1.15) for layers. It is expected, however, that high demand will push prices even higher. Poor quality of poultry feeds, lack of organized markets, shortage of breeding stock to improve indigenous chicken and high prices of day-old chicks continue to hamper the growth of the sector, said Kanyi, providing challenges to the industry. "As a result, my department had embarked on training farmers to prepare nutritious homemade poultry rations and encouraging the formation of marketing groups to get maximum returns as well as encouraging the establishment of more hatcheries in the area," she said.