Strengthening Kenya's Poultry Sector
The poultry sector in Africa has great potential for growth but is constrained by overall sector disorganization, a weak feed industry, lack of ready market access and information for smallholder producers, and prevalence of avian diseases. Poultry is a key economic activity for smallholder farmers throughout Africa, especially in rural areas. In Kenya, up to 75 percent of farmers (a majority of whom are women) raise small free-roaming flocks that are extremely susceptible to disease, including highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). The biggest challenges to the sector include improving access to inputs and appropriate technologies, enhancing capacity for early detection and rapid containment of avian diseases, and strengthening smallholder access to markets.
The goal of the USAID-funded Partnership for Safe Poultry in Kenya (PSPK) project is to promote safe poultry production and marketing systems that incorporate freedom from highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and other poultry diseases, generating high levels of income for smallholder families.
Specific project activities include:
Stakeholder partnerships and value chain research
Develop Kenyan National Poultry Improvement Program
Improve poultry feed and strengthen association of Kenyan feed manufacturers
Develop plan for Kenya Poultry Sector Knowledge System
Identify and strengthen poultry farmer groups
Develop bio-secure demonstration farms
Facilitate access to finance and market linkages
Develop SMS market information system
Accomplishments since 2009 include:
Leveraged the time and expertise of 41 volunteers from East Africa and the U.S. to provide technical assistance to the Kenya Poultry Farmers Association, Government of Kenya, Association of Kenya Feed Manufacturers, Great Lake University of Kenya, farmers groups, and others.
Conducted poultry sector value chain analyses in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania to identify constraints and opportunities to the poultry sector in each country as well as regionally.
Facilitated the development and implementation of a Kenya National Poultry Improvement Program, in collaboration with the Ministry of Livestock Development.
Developed a web-based information sharing system for poultry sector stakeholders. (see http://www.kenyapoultry.org/).
Assisted the Association of Kenya Feed Manufacturers to improve feed quality and develop a certification program for the feed industry.
Promoted efforts to produce high quality feeds at affordable prices.
Strengthened the capacity of the Kenya Poultry Farmers Association and its members in the areas of production of high value poultry products, marketing, quality control, and record keeping.
Provided training to over 5,500 poultry farmers (nearly 60% women) on bio-security practices and safe poultry production. Eleven bio-security demonstration farms are now practicing bio-security measures.
Supported women-owned poultry enterprises.
Developed an innovative financial model used by poultry farmers, traders, and microfinance institutions to support poultry keeping as a commercial enterprise.
Established partnerships between farmer groups and market buyers through contract farming. Six buyers have been identified and signed MOUs with15 poultry producer groups.
Developed six local poultry brands and brand labels, working in partnership with graphic artists from the University of Nairobi.
Established linkages between farmers and financial institutions.
Developed a curriculum for the first poultry science degree program in the region, in partnership with the Great Lakes University of Kisumu.
Disseminated information on biosecurity measures targeting smallholder farmers in the Daily Nation, with a daily circulation of 3.8 million readers. In the two weeks following the supplement, the project received over 300 telephone calls from farmers requesting more information. To date, the program manager receives approximately two calls every week related to the article.