The Food Security and Ecosystem Management for Sustainable Livelihoods in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands of Kenya (FOSEMS) Phase II seeks to facilitate collaboration among sector stakeholders in order to promote increased competitiveness by commercializing meat and egg products. In July and August 2015, Africa Harvest conducted a study to take inventory of groups willing to upscale and commercialize poultry business, identified key constraints and opportunities for enhanced competitiveness and also documented success stories, especially after the end of Phase I in June 2013.

The second phase of the project was thus designed to leverage on the good results recorded  during Phase I and to further assist stakeholders to work together through a collaborative framework. For example, Bene Hatcheries Limited, based in Makueni, has been contracted to supply the improved KALRO Kienyeji (local) chicks, provide extension services and purchase the mature birds, weighing 1.5 kg after 4 months, at a farm gate price of KES 300–400 per kg.

During the year under review, major achievements were recorded, included the finalization of
architectural partnerships and collaborations among resource persons from the Livestock Improvement Department at the County Government of Makueni.  Private service providers were engaged to improve  access to breeding stock, provide para-vet services  (extension) as well as provide access to markets  for mature birds. Child Fund International (CFI), for  example, trained farmers on table banking. Other organizations helped build farmer  rganizations’ capacity in effective meeting management and group dynamics, poultry   husbandry, goat management and entrepreneurship skills.

The project contributed significantly to the counties’ strategic interventions on increasing improved technologies and promotion of water harvesting as well as improving inputs/output and access to sustainable markets. Further, to enhance access to markets and ensure that enough quantities are reaching various markets, women and youth groups were identified to
provide services at the local level. Aggregators act as the hub through which quality services to producers can be accessed while the small quantities produced are collected in one location for easier marketing off-take.

The aggregators were trained and tasked to further train and mentor youth groups that would be attached to them for a year. The aggregators and other groups working closely with them received 1,000 KALRO Kienyeji (21-day old) chicks, which had
received all the required vaccines. The shift to 21-day  old chicks was designed to minimize the challenge of high mortality among the 1-day old chicks as well as reduce the labour and cost of feeding them.

The project also provided the aggregators with mechanical grinders that would be used to process locally available grains into chicken feed. Automatic incubators with a  power back up  in case of power outage were located where the aggregators were, with a view to increasing the supply of chicks at the community level thereby enhancing sustainability of
the bouquet of interventions.

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