The County Department of Livestock has embarked on a deliberate move to create sustainable employment for the youths through active engagement in agribusiness for employment, wealth creation and poverty reduction.
Today the CECM Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr. Gilchrist Okuom flunked by the Chief Officer Livestock and Fisheries, Madam Rosemary Raluoch, visited the Oboch Big 20 youth group in Nyalenda informal settlement to kick start them in poultry keeping after constructing a poultry house, issuing them with a thousand-day old chicks and 15 bags of chick mash.
The project is part of the grass root development funds allocated by the area MCA, Hon. Joseph Olale towards empowering the youths in Nyalenda.
Speaking to the Oboch Big 20 youth group in Nyalenda, the CECM, Mr. Okuom urged the youths to take advantage of the agribusiness programme to transform their lives.
He noted that there is deficit in meeting the demand for poultry products in Kisumu and that is the reason poultry keeping was recommended by the department. Secondly, poultry keeping requires less of ones time, yet has a high turn over rate that will give the youths good profit margins if well maintained.
The County Minister said there are plans to support many more groups, although there have been budgetary constraints that affect the realization of the same.
He reminded youths that being a seed capital, they need to own the project in order to realize the returns. He called on them to learn best practices in poultry keeping from the county livestock officers and to acquire skills that will help them expand the business.
Concerning feeds challenge, he advised them to turn such challenges into opportunities by learning how to make chick feed from locally available materials and selling the surplus, as a way of expanding their source of income along the poultry value chain.
The Chief Officer Livestock and Fisheries, madam Rosemary Raluoch expressed optimism that the youths were on the right track since for two weeks, the mortality rate has been minimal. She also advised them to explore other alternatives in making feeds to cut down the cost of production and maximize the profit margin.
She said the department previously distributed day-old chicks to individuals, but had little impact. Currently, they have resorted to groups because training a bigger group has better impact.
Further to that, once they are given the start up, it is easier to cascade the same to several other groups who learn from them, hence they catalyze the whole process.
The Sub County livestock Officer, Mr. Omune pledged to support them with extension services such as vaccination, making local feeds and even linking them to the chicken basket company on matters marketing.
The Chairperson for the Oboch Big 20 Youth group, Mr. Dennis Otieno speaking on behalf of the group thanked the county for the project and requested for continued support until they sell off the first batch then they will have acquired skills to sustain the project.
He reiterated that the mega project in Nyalenda is an eye opener to most of them. Previously the group with 23 members engaged in table banking to support individual members boost their small businesses but the project will now bring them together more often and is a source of employment to most of them.
The department has also procured four incubators to boost day- old chicks’ production, they will also be issued to groups. Taza Hope Women group in Nyalenda has already received one currently being installed and tested. The hatcheries will supply day old chicks to the farmer youth groups and other farmers in the region.
By: Emily Mikwa