Andrew Makatiani is the proud owner of Lianfam Africa, a bustling chicken farm nestled in Lurambi, Kakamega County.
When he started the business in 2019, he did not expect it to grow to its current capacity, whereby he has signed multi-million contracts to supply chickens to the county governments of Kakamega and Vihiga.
This is his journey as told by WoK:
Like many entrepreneurs, Makatiani’s current business is miles away from what he studied at university.
He graduated with a degree in business information systems, but when he lacked a job, he started writing drama scripts for secondary schools.
He had reared several chicks as a side hustle, and one day he sold 25 of them at a profit of sh 5, 000. That was when his eyes were opened to the lucrative niche of poultry farming.
He therefore invested sh 150,000 into the business, buying an incubator and a small generator.
That was the genesis of Lianfam Africa Limited in October 2018.
When starting, Andrew says he had very little knowledge about poultry rearing, but he was eager to learn.
The easiest part of the business, he realized, was selling chicks since the demand was very high.
He therefore started with 100 chicks, which he sold at a profit of sh 35 000.
Fast forward to today, whereby he has five employees. He runs the business alongside his wife Lilian Muhabi.
He has also contracted boda boda riders and other transporters to distribute the eggs.
Life changing experience
Andrew says the venture, which sits on a one-eighth of an acre, has been a life-changing experience. It has enabled him to sign contracts worth over sh 14 million with various partners.
His biggest contract has been sh 9 million signed with the Kakamega county government.
He has also partnered with One Acre Fund, supplying chicks to their farmers in Vihiga, Kakamega, Transnzoia, and Bungoma.
During an interview with Nation, Andrew said he made sh 3.4 million profit in his first year of business in 2019.
However, the profit dropped to sh 2.8 million in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic.
Currently, his profits range above sh 4 million, which has enabled him to import equipment worth over sh 1.8 million to boost his business.
He credits the high growth rate of his enterprise to hard work, determination, and networking with the right people.
He says it takes between 27 and 28 weeks until the birds are ready for the market, which means a farmer starts earning in just 31 weeks.
He sells a fully grown chicken for about sh 1000.
However, the business has its fair share of challenges. The main ones are diseases and payment delays.
His success has earned him invitations to speak at international conferences such as the Africa Farm Management Association.
He has also been invited to speak at various agricultural institutions like Egerton University and other Technical and Vocational Training institutions.
His advice for those who want to venture into the poultry business is for them to invest in a good location, invest in proper education, and build a proper housing system.
In the future, Andrew Makatiani plans to process frozen chicken and organic manure from the farm using biogas as well as producing his own feeds.