There’s a peculiar predicament within the Kenyan poultry sector. The most popular bird is the traditional Kienjeji chicken. However, only the less admired broiler chicken can meet the demand of the emerging supermarkets and restaurants. What goes for chicken, goes for turkey, explains a new report on poultry in Africa.
Kenya is booming. The country experiences an annual economic growth of 5 percent. Supermarkets and restaurants are working hard to expand and keep up with the demand of the growing middle class.
Meat consumption is expected to double between 2000 and 2030. The consumption of poultry will even triple as a combined effect of increasing consumption and population growth.
Poultry farming has great potential. For African standards, the poultry sector is well developed, with a complete and professional production chain.
As in most East-African countries, Kenya has two different poultry markets. The market of the traditional, home kept chicken which roams around. Besides that, there are the fast growing hybrid broiler chickens.
The amount of hybrid chickens estimates only 16.5 percent of the total amount. The rest of the chicken population exists of traditional, indigenous chickens, which are more popular amongst consumers, but are kept in rural areas and rarely reach supermarkets.
The chicken is by far the most eaten bird; 98% of all poultry is chicken. However, the demand for other kinds of meat is increasing. Turkey rearing can be very profitable as well. For small scale farmers as well as big turkey farms.
For turkeys, the same preference goes up as it does with chicken: the indigenous ‘kienjeji’ bird is much more popular amongst Kenyan consumers, as well as consumers in the countryside as in the fast growing cities.
Most turkey meat in restaurants and all turkey meat in supermarkets however are from broiler turkeys, in Kenya delivered by only one producer who is able to keep the birds on large scale and under high management. This company fulfils all requirements to deliver to retail outlets and restaurants on professional base.
Small scaled farmer
The market for turkey meat is large and expanding, with enough potential for more competitors. Not only for the hybrid turkey, but also for the ‘kienjeji’ turkey.
Farming this traditional turkey can be a good prospective for small scale farmers. What they need is knowledge about good agricultural practices, knowledge about financing and knowledge about the market.
© Marc van der Sterren