Demand for poultry products is on the rise in Kenya driven by an emerging middle-class in new urban settlements largely due to devolution.
To feed the appetite, an estimated 1.5 million birds are slaughtered weekly from a population of some 35 million fowls being fed for meeting the increasing demand.
The development is opening massive employment opportunities, especially in rural areas with huge untapped potential according to HPP Exhibitions which is organising the Kenya Poultry Expo, planned for May 23-25, next year at the Sarit Centre, Nairobi.
Tuesday, exhibition manager Michelle Mwangi said contrary to popular belief that only chicken is reared for commercial purposes, turkeys, geese, guinea fowls and the ‘infamous’ quail are delicacies in poultry farming.
In the chicken category, 75 per cent is indigenous chicken, 22 per cent is broilers and layers and 1 per cent is breeding stock.
Due to high demand and resilience of Kienyezi chicken, the market has seen a number of varieties led by the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Organisation bred Improved Kienyeji, Kuroilers, Rainbow, Rooster Kenbro and Sasso among others.
Ms Mwangi said while chicken is every farmer's choice, Turkey earns more money and is a bird with rising demand at the consumer end.
"The shift to white meats due to health concerns has fueled a sharp increase in demand for poultry products necessitating need for an exhibition to showcase the various birds rearing technologies and practices required for a successful venture," she said.
She added, “A growing retail sector with food branches, fast food outlets, and restaurants has created a readily available outlet for chicken and eggs completing the chain and fueling the demand”.
“We wish to bring together players in the poultry industry under one roof to give the country a chance to share the emerging technologies in the sector and to put the industry into perspective as a key player in the country’s economy," she added.
On the show will be the latest technologies and practices of poultry farming covering production, genetics, nutrition, feed, health but marketing, operations, cost management, and other critical factors for successful investment in the sector.
HPP is the organiser of the world’s best flower show, IFTEX, an annual flower industry show that takes place in Nairobi.