Written by John Kabaka.
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The Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) has announced plans for the commissioning of the operation of the ten-thousands-egg-capacity hatchery established in Kakamega County.
KARI Director in charge of the Kakamega Station, where the facility will be installed Dr. Francis Muyekho said the installation works was complete adding that the minister for agriculture Dr. Sally Kosgei is expected to commission its operation next week.
Addressing farmers and stakeholders in the Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) at the station, Muyekho said the initiative was part of the Institute's drive to address challenges of production of indigenous poultry products and increase the income of local households.
The hatchery, he said has an egg capacity of 10,000 and would specifically be for the indigenous hens. The commissioning will concede with the farmer field day organized jointly by the KARI station and the Ministry of Agriculture.
The Head of Veterinary in the region Dr. Jared Muyela said the hatchery and the establishment of two chicken slaughter houses in the Counties of Kakamega and Bungoma was part of the government plan to commercialize poultry farming in the area and boost household incomes for the farmers.
The hatchery is the second such facility financed by the government there is another one in Naivasha. The Naivasha hatchery has often addressed the indigenous chicken demand for the residents of Nairobi city.
Muyela said two chicken slaughter houses will be established in Kakamega Central and Bungoma Central Districts to address issues of value addition and marketing of products.
“The hatchery in Kakamega is expected to expand production of indigenous chicken and eggs in the Western Kenya region and together with the slaughter houses address challenges of value addition for products.” he said.
The officials made the announcements when they attended the launch of the EOA Research Centre at the KARI Station.
The research centre is a broad initiative of the Biovision Africa and the ICIPE and aims to develop a vibrant data bank to enhance food security, improve incomes for households and friendly manage the ecological system.
Addressing people during the launch, Muyela said the EOA concept was relevant for the region because she relies on inorganic agriculture to boost production, which had adversely affected the mineral balance in the soils and water.
“We lost our fish export quota to the developed market because our products were tested and found to contain toxic substances beyond the acceptable levels. This was because our agriculture depended on inorganic fertilizers and pesticides, which find its way to the rivers and lakes. We have an opportunity to clean our ecological system through organic farming,” he said.
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