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Drought Mitigation: ASALs Shift To Poultry Production

Case of Ngaremara women

Pastoral communities living in arid and semi-arid lands rely on livestock like goats, indigenous cattle and camels as their source of wealth. However, climate change effects add an extra layer of vulnerability thus negatively impacting their livelihoods. Unpredictable weather, high temperatures and extreme drought have left these communities desperately living on mercies of charitable organizations.

Jamarose Ngai, a poultry producer recounts how the condition has continued to worsen;

The weather has drastically changed, and the little rain we used to receive is becoming erratic thus making the situation to worsen day by day. Livestock keeping in our place has come with countless of challenges including lack of pasture and water. The few that survive the rage of drought are taken away through cattle rustling. Aaahh! … shakes her head, mmmh… falling short of words…I think introduction of poultry rearing, though it has its own challenges, its relatively manageable.”

In Isiolo County, poultry farming in the past was only done for consumption purposes. Most households kept chicken for eggs production which were eventually cooked at home and not for commercial use. In recent years, commercial poultry production and selling has been introduced as an alternative income generating activity to mitigate effects of climate change. Anticipating outstanding outcome, development of the value chain has taken a centre stage.

CESVI through Sustainable Agro-ecological Models of Production in Kenya’s ASAL (SAMPAK), an AICS funded project are carrying out pilot project to establish the viability of poultry farming in Ngaremara, Burat and Oldnyiro wards of Isiolo county. The project has distributed poultry to piloted beneficiaries for production. To promote commercialization along the value chain, CESVI contracted E4Impact Foundation to conduct entrepreneurial trainings for the selected poultry beneficiaries. The aim is to impart innovative business knowledge and skills to poultry farmers while enabling them to develop sustainable business models. The training targets to increase financial and marketing linkages for the beneficiaries. It also makes the enterprises to create trade relationships with their clients, local markets, and the external market. The groups have since been trained on Business model, financial and marketing models conducted in three boot camps.

In the words of Jamarose Ngai, “the training by E4Impact was timely and impactful. Now, I am a trader and I deliver my eggs on weekly basis. The marketing training has enabled me have a good rapport and engagement with my buyer, she adds, smiling.

Poultry farming has become one of the key avenues to diversified food and income generation to pastoral communities. Development of the value chain has direct impact to livelihoods in these communities. In order to commercialize its production in Isiolo and other ASAL counties, customized business support programs are needed. E4impact Foundation has been at the forefront in organizing producer groups and offering boot camp trainings on entrepreneurship to realize commercialization.

SAMPAK is a project, funded BY AICS in Isiolo County-Kenya and implemented by a consortium of 3 organization Action Aid Kenya, CESVI & MID-P with E4impact as consulting partner offering entrepreneurial training, research and value chain analysis.

By Ekea Leonard

Business Trainer/Coach-Isiolo County

E4Impact Foundation