Hatching a plan to make a positive difference

NICE helps to provide eggs and meat to Busia County

Commercial egg production is harder than it sounds. Combining it with chick hatching and meat production diversifies the business, helps farmers and provides healthy food. An example from Kenya shows what’s possible.

Euphemy Aoko collecting eggs that have been hatched by her chicken.

Euphemy Aoko already had lots of experience with poultry. But since joining the NICE project last June, she has taken her business to the next level. Aoko has seized a dual opportunity: to improve her own farming and to support other poultry raisers through her Farmers’ Hub.

Aoko’s poultry business is based in Busia County, Kenya. She initially focused on egg production. However, her hens were vulnerable to disease and sensitive to the weather. Egg-laying was suffering as a result, while chicken feed was becoming very expensive. Aoko decided to diversify her farm and produce both, eggs and meat. That meant changing to indigenous chicken. She considers that her indigenous chicken are “more resistant to diseases, mature faster, and still lay good eggs.”  

Training came from NICE staff as well as the Agriculture & Food Authority. The capacity-building focused on managing stock for market, and on issues such as combating diseases. Aoko has put the coaching and her own experience to good use by supporting the poultry farmers served by her Hub. “I decided to focus on helping my customers get good chicks”, she explains. “My hens lay fertilized eggs which I hatch and sell to the farmers.” 

The Hub employs two young people. They have plenty of work: “Our incubator holds 8000 eggs”, says Aoko. “They stay there for 18 days and then go to the hatchery.” Up to 5000 eggs stay in the hatchery for three days. More than 70 poultry farmers come to buy the chicks.

Euphemy Aoko’s incubator that has a capacity of 8000 eggs

The poultry business is not only about money and jobs, however. “I also encourage my farmers and family to consume eggs themselves,” Euphemy Aoko makes clear. “They are a reliable source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. And they can be prepared in many ways, which adds variety to our meals.” Poultry is an ideal match for the aims of NICE.