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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Matwiku groups benefiting from an incubator donated by TILT

By Bob Aston
Three self help groups (S.H.G) in Matwiku came up together early this year to form MUTI in order to benefit from an incubator from Tree Is Life Trust (TILT). Matwiku Horticulture Growers S.H.G, Umoja Upendo S.H.G and Tumaini S.H.G both had an interest in poultry farming.  Sixty (60) members of the three groups have been engaging in poultry farming in Matwiku area of Githiga Ward in Laikipia West.
The groups were informed by TILT that they can be supported to boost their chicken rearing projects if they decide to come together and form an umbrella group. After forming MUTI they were issued with an incubator by TILT on February 4, 2015.
The incubator which is worth Ksh 75,000 is capable of hatching 264 eggs. Hatching is in three (3) phases as each tray carries 88 eggs. The incubator also has a hatching tray that carries 88 eggs. The eggs take 21 days to hatch.
Mr. Gicheru checking the progress of the eggs
Peter Gicheru, MUTI Chairman noted that they had received the incubator at an opportune time as all the members had already prepared brooders and they were also ready to invest more in poultry farming.
HE said that they had agreed that group members will pay Ksh 60 for a day old chick while other farmers will pay ksh 80. He noted that they will lay a lot of emphasis on production of indigenous poultry as they are more tolerant to diseases which reduce veterinary costs.
“We expect that this project will not only improve the livelihood of members but that it will provide a good business opportunity for the three groups,” said Mr. Gicheru.
He said that the group has leased a building where they have placed the incubator. They are also paying for electricity and a caretaker who has to check the incubator every morning to ensure that nothing has gone wrong.
“We are expecting that we will soon be able to sustain ourselves through the project but this will be made very difficult by the frequent power outages experienced in Matwiku. There was a time when there was no electricity for three consecutive days,” said Mr. Gicheru.
Already some members of MUTI have been trained on handling incubators, hatching and brooding together with general poultry production by Eco Chicks.
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