Mixed farming a huge success in Kampi ya Moto

Traditional chicken in John Lagat and Linah Kirui’s farm. [Standard]

As the hot weather conditions complicate the type of economic activities that should thrive in Kampi ya Moto, Rongai Constituency, Nakuru County, poultry farming has emerged as a steady economic activity in the region.

Most poultry farmers, mainly women’s groups, are taking it seriously alongside cattle rearing and beekeeping, which are the backbone of economic activities in the area.

These women’s groups have developed various methods to breed quality chickens for meat and eggs, contributing to stiff competition and survival of the fittest in the market. Indigenous broilers are the main focus, making them affordable to the groups.

The passion in these economic activities has been boosted by the involvement of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in funding serious women’s groups and individual farmers in the region.

Terek Women Group and Chemasis Farmers Group are some of the groups that have benefited the villagers.

Comprising 15 members – 12 women and three men, the sky is the limit for Terek Women Group in their pursuit to breed and produce quality chickens and cattle that can compete effectively in the local and external markets.

Of the 15, only seven are active members as Chemasis Farmers Group mainly preoccupies with elite sheep breeding, bee-keeping, and other agricultural activities. 

Dominic Ledingi in his farm in Kampi Ya Moto. [Standard]

Terek Women Group chairperson Margaret Cheptoo said their work is to uplift the living standards of her members through economic development projects in farming that are viable in the current market setup.

“We have come out to ensure our members get involved in farming activities that could improve their living standards. First, they must come up with ways to breed quality animals in their farming specialties,” she said.

She said they share ideas among themselves on how to improve their socioeconomic welfare.

Members of the group are spread in different areas of Kampi ya Moto located in the vast Soin Ward in Rongai.

The family of John Lagat and his wife Linah Kirui, who own a 10-acre farm in the area and are members of Terik Women Group, have spent their time in poultry farming and cattle rearing.

Interestingly, as the wife concentrates on poultry farming, Lagat shifted his energies to cattle rearing, a development that impressed IFAD Country Director Maria Camarah.

“We have a passion for poultry and cattle farming but we decided to divide it amongst ourselves so that we specialise and come up with the best breeds. Personally, I grow traditional (indigenous) chicken for meat and eggs,” said Mrs. Lagat.

They rely on Livestock Extension Officers provided by Nakuru County Government for professional advice whenever they face technical challenges.

On his part, Lagat said: “I involve myself in dairy farming and cattle-rearing for meat.”

After IFAD and Nakuru County Government officials visited their farm, IFAD Country Director Camarah had several questions for the couple, which exposed several weaknesses in their farming traditions.

“We need to come up with the right farming methods if we are to breed the right quality of products,” said Camarah.

Dominic Ledingi, a perpetual elite sheep breeder and a member of Chemusugu Group, is one of the farmers who impressed IFAD officials with his farming techniques in breeding dopers that have benefited villagers in Soin Ward.

“I have specialised in breeding dopers here, and I have assisted my neighbours in doing the same for the right quality. So far, we have realised some of the best breeds, which fetch good prices,” he said.

From the best breeds that fetch good market rates, Ledingi explained, it has enabled him to afford to send his children to good schools.

“Raising school fees for my children and other relatives has not been difficult from my work. Many people have embraced what I do here, and I have in turn assisted them,” he said.

As a result of Ledingi’s work, IFAD approved a workshop they’ll sponsor under the stewardship of Ledingi to educate more villagers on the elitist method of the same technology.

“That has been approved, and we’ll inform you of the confirmed dates for the symposium later,” said Camarah.

Nakuru County Projects Coordinator Dr. Jane Waititu said their main objective is to ensure farmers receive the right advice to achieve maximum yields. “Maximum yields by these farmers are our main objective since we are here to give them the right technological expertise for better quality breeds,” she said.

In doing so, field officers sent by the county government visit these groups to ascertain the progress and challenges faced by these farmers.

The field officers use motorcycles to crisscross vast areas in the county.

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