The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) has developed a superior indigenous chicken breed which has a higher genetic potential and TIMPs to overcome production challenges.
The KALRO improved chicken produces between 230-250 eggs per year compared to about 80-100 eggs from the unimproved chicken. In order to make
Under a partnership with the World Bank (WB), the research institution will be producing 240,000 chicks every month from the current 78,000.
According to KALRO Director-General Dr Eliud Kireger, the country could not meet its poultry demand and hence the high imports from neighbouring countries.
Kireger said that for years the research institution had been unable to meet the rising demand of the indigenous chicks which were more productive.
“The World Bank has agreed to sponsor this programme and in the next six months we shall be producing over 240,000 chicks against a demand of 300,000 every month,” he said.
He noted that currently, the country was producing 60 percent of poultry meat and 50 percent of eggs with the rest being exported from neighbouring countries.
“The new indigenous chicken that we have introduced has the capacity of laying 230-250 eggs per year compared to the local one that lays around 100 eggs,” he said.
Addressing the press in KALRO farm in Naivasha, the DG was however quick to note that the cost of feeds continued to be the biggest challenge facing poultry production.
He identified fish-meal which was one of the poultry feed ingredients as very expensive for farmers, a move that was raising the cost of production.
“We are working with partners and researchers to come up with alternative sources of poultry feeds so that we can reduce the cost of production,” he said.
On diseases, Kireger said that KALRO had in the last couple of years come up with vaccines to contain the spread of several diseases like Newcastle which is highly contagious.
On his part, Dr David Miano who is in charge of non-ruminant research in KALRO noted that many poultry diseases were viral and could be contained through vaccination.
“Majority of diseases affecting poultry can be contained through vaccination and we are working around the clock to produce more vaccines,” he said.
Miano admitted that the cost of feed remained one of the biggest challenges facing farmers, adding that they had identified black-soldier-fly as an alternative component for poultry feed.
“The demand for indigenous chicks has continued to rise and we have also increased our monthly production from 19,000 to 78,000 chicks currently,” he said.