Challenges experienced by smallholder poultry farmers in Kenya
Any long-term objective of working with small holder farmers is to impact families into self sustenance.
Traditional poultry farming is mostly owned, managed and generally traded by women since this can easily be combined with women’s other household responsibilities.
Dashboard analysis of the situation obtained through an in-depth knowledge of constraints working with small holder poultry farmers reveal that major concerns of poultry farming are related to increased quality production, poultry diseases, lack of feed resources and structured markets.
The smallholder poultry farmer empowerment and market connection element is to change traditional poultry farming from subsistence to a commercial activity by building the management, production and marketing capacities.
Challenge is to have well organized groups that can easily adopt collective production and marketing of their products. The bigger challenge connected with the group is making a decision. The decision making process takes longer due to internal wrangles among other factors.
Lack of financial support services to improve access to financial services for smallholder poultry farmers hampers up-scaling of their projects. Smallholder poultry farmer financial ability to pay for technologies or innovations is weak in major rural areas. Largely one factor being the value proposition of women farmers being efficient and effective as a result of buying a work saving innovation is not a priority for husbands who are majority decision makers in the household.
The creation and rehabilitation of marketing infrastructure, including rural roads, storage areas and markets has not been adequately addressed and thus the need to adopt markets system approaches-Making markets work for the poor.
Other concerns that currently obstruct smallholder farmers’ access to markets include;
1).Lack of more resilient and disease resistant birds
2).Insufficient entrepreneurial skills
3).Lack of facilities for processing poultry products to value addition
4).Reduced access to market information and intelligence
5).Weak if any, poultry marketing infrastructure
In as much as there should be a deliberate interest in sustainable smallholder business practices, social investment, fair trade as well as generally engaging with small holder poultry farmers, is there an innovative and holistic solutions framework to improve smallholder poultry commercialization?