The prices of chicken and goats have increased ahead of the anticipated Christmas festivities as farmers decry the poor returns from maize, following delayed opening of the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) depots.
Moses Simiyu, a chicken trader in Kitale's municipal market says the livestock business is booming and may help him reduce the losses he incurred from his maize crop.
"It is big business here. There is high demand for chicken and goats from the locals and travellers to various destinations across the region.
I am encouraged that I will make some money, especially after I incurred huge losses from maize production," says Mr Simiyu.
The chicken trader say he is averaging 50 chickens sold per day, unlike previous months when he hardly sold five birds.
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According to Simiyu, the cost of a chicken depends on its weight. His chickens fetch between Sh700 and Sh1,200.
A maize farmer wanting to buy a one-kilogramme chicken will have to sell one 90kg bag of maize to afford it. The price of maize stands at Sh1,500.
Susan Wanjiku, another chicken trader says there are many orders but the supply is low.
"I know I won't have a problem raising fees for my children when schools open in January. The profit I'm earning will be enough to send them to school," adds the excited mother of six.
Wanjiku has since hired a motorbike operator to source for the chicken from West Pokot and Bokwo district in Uganda to meet the growing demand from the customers.
"I used to get the chicken from West Pokot but now I am forced to go beyond our borders to source the birds," said Wanjiku, who takes home at least Sh3O,000 every day.
The same activity is observed in Kitale's two slaughter houses where pastoralists have been selling goats and sheep in their hundreds every day.
Currently, a goat goes for between Sh4,000 and Sh7,000 depending on the size. Most of the traders get their animals from West Pokot.
On Tuesday, The Standard spotted at least three pick-up vehicles delivering goats and sheep from Kapenguria to markets in Trans-Nzoia.
A transporter, Joseph Njuguna, said he delivers over 200 animals daily from Kacheliba to traders in Kitale and Eldoret.
"I'm receiving high number of orders from butcheries as far as Eldoret and Bungoma towns," says Njuguna.