|Milimani Innovators Youth Bunge members and dog handlers showcase how Black German Shepherd handles a thief.|
By Standard Reporter
Kakamega, Kenya: A group of youths in Kakamega County has secured a sustainable income by venturing into dog breeding business for clients from across East Africa, enabling them expand their agribusiness investments from the additional income.
The youth, based at Kakamega Town’s Milimani Area, are breeding several types of dogs, which they sell with eight weeks puppies going for Sh15,000 to Sh90,000 depending on the type of dog the client wants.
The venture started in 2010 and the youth members are raring to expand the business, with some members starting dog breeding as their home-based business because demand is huge.
The dog breeding venture is done by a group known as Milimani Innovators Youth Bunge, whose president is Donald Zachary. The group started not as a youth enterprise, but an initiative to empower the youth in all spheres of their lives after the devastating 2008 post-election violence. United States Government through its international aid agency USAid is the principal partner in the initiative known as ‘Yes Youth Can’.
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At first, the initiative was viewed by the Kenya Government with suspicion but several years down the line, it is proving to be one of the best steps that government partners like USAid could take to rehabilitate the youth from the devastating effects of the violence.
“We decided to come together and start income generating activities especially agri-business. We breed and multiply dogs, poultry and food crops like sweet potato vines,” said Zachary. According to Lydia Munika, the president of the Kakamega County Youth Bunge Forum, Milimani Innovators Youth Bunge is among the most innovative and has been a showcase example for other “youth bunges” in the county.
“This group faced the challenge of not being able to access enough land because they are based in town. So they have identified unique activities that do not require big pieces of land. Rearing dogs and guinea pigs, guinea fowl, rabbit, cattle, cross-breed sweet potato vines and cross-breed chicken,” she said.
Zachary said Milimani youth group learnt dog breeding in Nakuru and it has found it profitable.