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Jacktone Ambole: I Went Broke After Leaving A Well-Paying Job in the US; Now I Rear Chickens For Survival

After graduating with a degree in Public Health from Moi University in 2014, Jacktone Ambole set off to the United States to further his studies on a scholarship.

Following the completion of his studies, he secured a prestigious job at an NGO in the US.

However, his ambition led him back to Kenya with a desire to explore new opportunities.

Initially aiming to venture into farming full-time, an unexpected opportunity in politics presented itself, and being a risk-taker, Ambole decided to try his luck by running for the Mwibona Ward Rep seat in the 2017 elections.

Unfortunately, he lost, leaving him in a financial predicament.

“I had used up almost 90 per cent of my savings that I had accumulated from the Diaspora for campaigns. That was a big blow. I was in a tight fix.” Ambole recounted the challenges he faced after the campaign

Determined to find a solution, he crossed paths with Peter Ndeche, a poultry farmer from Siaya County, who provided training on commercial poultry farming in 2018.

With a meager savings of Ksh 20,000, Ambole took the plunge into poultry farming.

He purchased 50 two-week-old improved Kienyeji chicks for Ksh 120 each and sold them after three months, making a profit.

”After three months, through my networks, I learnt about a wedding in the village and got the tender to supply 100 birds for the ceremony. I sold my 50 birds at Sh450 each and got Sh22,500. I sourced for another 50 birds from a friend at Sh350 and sold them at Sh450 each making a profit of Sh5,000,” recalled Ambole.

This initial success inspired him to reinvest the money back into the business.

Ambole expanded his poultry house and acquired 500 day-old chicks for meat production, alongside another 500 chicks for egg-laying purposes.

Adhering to a strict vaccination schedule and providing appropriate feed at each growth stage, Ambole achieved consistent results.

By October 2018, he was collecting between 350 and 430 eggs daily, amounting to approximately 9,600 eggs per month. Expanding his income streams, Ambole began hatching eggs and selling chicks to other farmers.

“I used to sell my chicken when they had attained the age of between two and four months. Those that were two months were going for Sh300, two and half months at Sh350, three months at Sh450 and four months at Sh700. My main market was the locals and events like weddings, funerals and birthday parties,” says Ambole.

Additionally, he formed community self-help groups, distributing chicks to them after providing training on best practices.

These groups flourished, and Ambole became the main buyer of their eggs, further enhancing his chick production capabilities.

Undeterred by setbacks, Ambole persevered, continuously seeking new avenues for growth.

Recognizing the need to diversify and minimize risk, he gradually expanded into other farming ventures.

In 2019, he purchased two-acre plots within Ebukuya village to cultivate tissue culture bananas, kales, black nightshade, and beans. Utilizing poultry waste as fertilizer, Ambole maximized resource efficiency on his farm.

Embracing a multifaceted approach, Ambole ventured into rabbit farming, rearing over 200 breeds. He not only sold live rabbits but also capitalized on value addition opportunities by selling processed rabbit meat.

Moreover, he recognized the value of rabbit urine and droppings as organic fertilizers and pesticides. By collecting and selling these by-products to local farmers, Ambole created an additional revenue stream while promoting sustainable agricultural practices.

Through diligent networking and strategic marketing, Ambole expanded his customer base and formed mutually beneficial relationships.

He established a reputation as a reliable supplier of quality products, building trust within the community.

With steady growth and diversification, Ambole’s farm achieved financial stability, allowing him to reinvest and expand further.