Global Agriculture

Heifer International and Cargill Expand Hatching Hope into Kenya, Improving Nutrition and Livelihoods Through Sustainable Poultry Production

27 January 2021, Kenya: Today, Heifer International and Cargill in partnership with the National and County Governments announce the expansion of Hatching Hope into Kenya. Hatching Hope Kenya will reach 10 million people in its first phase (2019-2022), through a combination of direct support to farmers and consumer-awareness campaigns, contributing to a global goal of improving the nutrition and incomes of 100 million people by 2030.

In Kenya, 1.82 million children suffer from chronic malnutrition – over a quarter of the under-5 population. By working across the poultry supply chain, Hatching Hope Kenya will sustainably improve smallholder farmer incomes and increase the awareness and availability of nutrient-rich chicken and eggs for families in Western Kenya.

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“Projects designed to support smallholder poultry farmers often focus only on production, rather than the changes needed across the market system. Hatching Hope takes a systems-wide approach, with the goal of increasing nutrition and incomes for smallholder poultry producers and their families,” said Adesuwa Ifedi, Senior Vice President of Africa Programs for Heifer International. “Hatching Hope combines Cargill’s expertise in poultry supply chains and nutrition with Heifer International’s 76 years of experience working with smallholder livestock producers to address all parts of the poultry system.”

Hatching Hope Kenya is operating in the counties of Kisumu, Siaya, Homabay, Migori and the surrounding areas of Nakuru, Uasin Gishu counties and Nairobi Metropolitan. The program will enhance the current poultry food and farming system to build a viable and equitable market system through a sustainable ‘Distributor Model’ to improve feed access and technical support for 46,000 poultry farming households.

In Hatching Hope Kenya program areas, poultry farming families currently earn an average of $1,559 per year – only 30% of the income needed to live a dignified life. Hatching Hope Kenya will support farmers to more than halve the living income gap over the next three years. The program focuses on poultry because many local smallholder farmers are already raising chickens and all household members can engage in poultry production – especially women and youth. Poultry is easy to feed, breed and bring to market, and chickens grow fast to provide income quickly. Meat and eggs provide rich sources of nutrients, especially protein, which is lacking in many peoples’ diets.

“By partnering with farmer producer organizations and other actors in a market system approach, Hatching Hope will improve the livelihoods of 46,000 households, positioning them as key players in the poultry value chain,” said Heifer Kenya Country Director George Odhiambo. “These interventions will lead to the creation of profitable and sustainable farmer-owned poultry businesses through access to products, service and markets.”

“Hatching Hope is an example of Cargill and Heifer’s shared belief in the value of safe, sustainable and affordable animal protein in the diet – as well as a commitment to improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers,” said Rene Osorio, Managing Director, Cargill Animal Nutrition Middle East and Africa. “To have real long-term success, we see these participants as entrepreneurs – smart, resourceful animal producers. In teaching and sharing what we know we can support smallholder farmers to achieve the economic means to feed their children, send them to school and build resilient communities.”

A poultry value chain study conducted by Heifer International revealed demand for poultry products is increasing in the seven counties where Hatching Hope Kenya is operating, with local supply unable to keep pace. The program aims to reduce the supply gap of meat and eggs by promoting production best practices. Consumer-awareness campaigns will promote the benefits of poultry products for improving families’ food and nutrition security, while increasing the financial independence and decision-making of women in farming families.

As the demand for poultry products in Kenya grows, Heifer International and Cargill will support Hatching Hope farmers by providing a wide range of goods, services, and animal health and productivity expertise to meet this demand.