Women from Kamobo Location in Kapsabet ward, in Nandi County had lived without any investment as a group for quite a long time. Some had not even thought of starting any investment that could help generate income for them and their families. But there was a group of men that was progressing well. It inspired women to start one of their own.
In 2017, they formed Ushindi Multipurpose Women Group. The Chairlady of the group reveals they started with 30 members, but it has since grown to 44 and it includes women, men and youths. She explains, the group has 25-20 adult and 5 youthful women. It also 19 men, of whom nine are youths. The group started with merry-go-round and table banking. Chairlady explains they registered the group in 2019. At the beginning of the merry-go-round, each member contributed Sh 200. But, the amount of money contributed per sitting has since increased to Sh 500. Table banking, which is a savings and loan initiative, members pay 500-1,000 each. Their laws allow members to borrow twice the amount they have saved, at 10 percent interest rate. The money loaned to members is repaid within three weeks.
The group had been managing table banking and merry-go-round well until one day when they learned of NARIGP through a baraza during a PICD process. After going through sensitizations and training, they wrote a proposal as per the NARIGP requirement requesting funds to invest in poultry.
According to the Community Driven Development Committee (CDDC) chairman, Ushindi Multipurpose Women Group’s project is one of the community investments projects being implemented in the Ward. It prioritizes rearing of local chicken, starting from incubation and brooding. The group’s aim is to ensure a steady supply of improved local poultry chicks to farmers within the ward and beyond.
Towards the end of 2021, the group received various items worth Sh. 500,000, which included materials for constructing a poultry house, an incubator with a capacity to hatch 528 eggs, a 3000litres capacity water tank and a generator to run the incubator in case of power interruptions. Their contribution was 10 percent of the total amount.
Chairlady explains to kick start the poultry business, the group bought 500 fertilized eggs, at Sh. 20 each and incubated them. A total of 380 chicks hatched but 50 died soon after. After one month, they sold 200 at Sh. 175 and made Sh 35,000 gross profit. They retained the rest to serve as future stock to lay eggs for incubation and sale.
The chairlady says, “The first hatching process went well, bearing in mind that none of us had information about this process. It has taught us lessons and encouragement to learn very fast if we want to make good profits in future.”
In the second round, the group incubated 176 eggs, out of which 170 hatched into chicks. They sold some chicks to group members, at a subsidized price. The group is now on the third round of incubation and they say everything is turning out to be successful especially since they started the Farmer Field School (FFS) through their Community Based Facilitator. They have formed subcommittees for finance, project management and marketing to better manage their enterprise. Members meet every week, where they also review how much has been made in the course of the week, before resolving the next plan of action through the committees.
The group says the poultry project has created jobs for members. They buy chicks at cheaper price before reselling to the community or various clients for a profit.
“I have taken loan which l used to buy chicks from our group. I then sell the same chicks to my customers for profits,” says a member who has benefitted from poultry activities.
Other members get chicken manure which they use as fertilizer in their farms. Members appreciate the capacity building that has given them skills in poultry management. The chairlady however shares they are yet to enjoy dividends from the group. She says, “We haven’t received any dividends but very soon we will start disbursing to members. We are progressing well and profits are on the way.”