A Thika farmer who makes a living from poultry farming. The Kiambu County government plans to introduce poultry farming in the dry Thika East region to provide farmers with an alternative to subsistence agriculture to fight poverty and hunger in the area. 

Plans are underway to introduce poultry farming in the dry Thika East region to provide farmers with an alternative to subsistence agriculture so as to kick out poverty and hunger in the area.

Kiambu Governor James Nyoro said they will give thousands of farmers some dual purpose chicks to rear for eggs or meat, which they can sell to make a living, after years of frustration from failed crops.

Speaking during a visit in the area Thursday, Nyoro said beneficiaries of the programme are being vetted and that once implemented, the move will revolutionize agriculture in the county’s dry region.

It will stop farmers’ over-reliance on traditional agriculture and complement what they harvest from their farms, added Nyoro.

The region borders Yatta in Machakos County and shares the same dry climatic conditions. Despite this, farmers have persisted on planting maize and beans and end up being frustrated due to massive crop failure.

 “Since poultry farming flourishes in the dry parts of Ukambani, it is reasonable to introduce it here to provide farmers with alternatives. Our aim is to alleviate poverty through poultry farming. Farmers will then be able to make money by selling eggs or chicken,” said Nyoro.

On provision of subsidized farm inputs, the governor announced that they will introduce voucher payment to farmers where they will be able to access seeds and fertilizers cheaply.

He said the vouchers will be sent to farmers on their mobile phones and they will use them to get the farm inputs from agro-shops at a small fee.

“From October just before the rains, needy farmers will start receiving the voucher and with Sh50, they will be given 5kgs of seeds and fertilizers,” he said.

The farmers lauded the poultry farming initiative, saying if implemented, it would change farming dynamics and weed out poverty in the area.

They attributed the area’s poverty to water scarcity, while calling on the government to prioritize the construction of several earth dams to promote irrigation.

They said irrigation had proved sustainable and is the only initiative that can bring richness in the area, citing farmers who practice horticulture on the nearby Athi river beds.

“Those farmers have been able to feed parts of Thika town, Machakos and Nairobi Counties through kales, spinanch, tomatoes, bananas and other crops. This is the only sustainable way to empower us and weed out poverty in this area,” said Ngumbau Mulovi, a Ngoliba resident.