Demand for chickens outstrips supply

29 May 2019 | Agriculture

KENYA KAMBOWE

A poultry farm at a government-owned agriculture centre in the Mashare Constituency of the Kavango East Region is doing well.

In an interview with Ewi lyaNooli, Mashare Agricultural Development Institute (Madi) agricultural technician Anderek Shigwedha said the poultry farm plays a vital role in terms of uplifting communities.

Madi is situated about 50 kilometres east of Rundu.

Shigwedha explained that the main aim of Madi’s poultry department is to breed chicks which are of good quality and can give the buyers the best results. Chicks are sold at N$7 each to buyers across the country and the proceeds go to the Treasury.

“Our main aim is to breed chickens and sell the chicks to members of the community. Through this we are assisting farmers to have the best breeds,” Shigwedha said.

During a tour of the chicken houses, Shigwedha pointed out some of the dual-purpose chicken breeds, which he said are in high demand. Dual-purpose chickens are good egg layers and good for eating too.

Shigwedha said the centre has the potential to drive the economy of Kavango East Region and assist in alleviating poverty in the communities.

He believes that if every household in the region took chicken farming seriously, poverty and unemployment could become a thing of the past.

At the moment the farm is not selling chicks, but sales will resume by the end of July.

Asked about the challenges the poultry farm is faced with, Shigwedha said sufficient feed supply is one of their biggest problems.

“At the moment our chicken feed is going down and we are forced to work smart in order to ensure that once funds are available, we will be able to stock up and feed the chickens well,” he said.

Another challenge is the maintenance of infrastructure, especially the chicken houses, which are dilapidated.

“As you can see the buildings are falling apart. This is because since they were constructed in the 1970s, they have never been renovated,” he said.

Shigwedha said because of the high demand for Madi chicks, they need an incubator that can hatch 5 000 eggs at a time instead of the current one that can take only 1 500 eggs.

“Just as you announce that chicks are ready for sale at Madi, scores of people rush to the centre to buy the chicks and in some instances not everyone who shows up manages to get something,” Shigwedha said.

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