The relaxing of the cessation of movement into and out of Mombasa County has breathed life to many farmers in Kaloleni who sold their produce in Mombasa County.
For some time now many farmers in the neighbouring county had to device ways to stay afloat during the cessation of movement imposed due to the surging cases of coronavirus in Mombasa county and the country at large.
Amani farmers field school had started an ambitious project to supply Improved kienyeji chicken to various hotels in Kilifi and Mombasa counties.
Alfred Ziro, secretary to the 25 member farmers group said they had made a good market research and projection that had it not been for the coronavirus, their farming enterprise would have alleviated their poverty levels.
“We had a good plan to rear the improved kienyeji chicken because their market price is good and they are not susceptible to diseases compared to broilers. We made a proposal and secured an interest free loan from the Mbegu fund which we are supposed to pay in two years. Our plans are now shuttered because the chicken are ready but the hotels we banked on have been closed down,” said Ziro
The farmers received the cheque for the loan on March 9 this year and a week later the country reported her first case of coronavirus.
“At first we did not think the virus will spread to the extent that businesses would be closed so we went ahead and purchased 100 chicks for a start. We did not get any hurdles as we have been practicing poultry farming at individual levels. When the stock was ready for sale we contacted the people who had promised us to buy them but most of them are in Mombasa and could not cross. We tried the local market but people used to buy either one or two chicken. This realy hit as hard as we pondered how to repay the loan which has a one month grace period,” added Ziro
To ease the burden of feeding the chicken as they wait for buyers, the group decided to share the chicken to all the members so that every member can take care of a smaller stock at home.
“We had sold all the cocks and we remained with 65 hens. We decided to give some members 4 hens each to take care of them at home. Instead of sellings the hens we decided to sell the eggs because they were almost laying. We were using 12.5Kgs of feeds for the chicken which was not manageable as we had no customers,” Said Teresia Kazungu, the group’s chairlady
Julius Ngala from Mrimani community health unit, a group engaging in poultry farming was also a disturbed man due to the cessation of movement into Mombasa county.
Mrimani community health unit has 100 layers which are almost laying and they too depended on the Mombasa market.