Steve Kamwa Sande is the founder and proprietor of Kamsa Poultry Farm located in Ololo, Kisumu West Sub-County. The farm which was established with 100 chicks from the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) in 2013 and has now grown to be worth millions.
Sande, a Food Science and Technology graduate, left his job at Unga Limited in 2013 after realising the increase in demand in the egg market across the country. At the time, an egg had started to retail at over Ksh15.
“I resigned in 2015 and got into agribusiness starting with 500 birds. During this time, I attended several meetings on poultry farming and interacted with several entrepreneurs,” Sande told the Star during a past interview.
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His interest in poultry farming began when he was still in formal employment. At the time he rared kienyeji chicken for meat and eggs, then later began raring layers only.
“I first bought 20 chicks from neighbours and within three months, many had died. I did not give up, and I bought another 100 kienyeji chicks and continued scaling up to 300 and by 2015 when I quit, I had 500 birds,” he said.
During an interview with the Nation, Sande revealed that initially, he pumped Ksh70,000 into the project, and erected a 15ft by 7ft structure for the birds. Later on, he went online and ordered a battery cage with a capacity of 300 birds at Sh150,000 from China.
“I placed an order online, it was shipped and I picked the cages from Nairobi. All my layers are now under deep litter after I added more cages,” he said.
After a while, his eggs business continued to outweigh his meat business, and he made the decision to switch from kienyeji chicken to high-breed broilers.
Sande was needed to expand his business in 2016 and in his quest for funding, approached banks and other financial entities for loans but was denied on the account that farming is considered a risky venture.
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“But through my interaction with other agribusiness entrepreneurs, I learnt about a call for proposals for a grant by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and I applied for the grant in 2018,” he said.
“During that time, I had shifted from kienyeji to hybrid layers and had about 2,000 layers. I had depleted all my initial resources and I needed additional capital to scale up.”
Sane managed to secure a Ksh3.5 loan from GAIN which he invested into his farm. He set up a deep litter system for his layer chicken and acquired several other pieces of equipment for the farm.
By May 2021, Sande had over 5,000 birds on his farm and trains interested farmers on improved poultry practices.
“Many farmers prefer the free-range method, but it is one of the most ineffective systems for someone who wants to produce eggs in large volumes,” he said.
Sande sells about 80 per cent of his eggs in the area and the remainder in Kisumu City. He sells to retailers at affordable prices, ensuring consumers afford the eggs.
As of May 2021, Kamsa Poultry Farm produced about 150 trays of eggs. It cost Sande Ksh210 to produce a crate of eggs, which he sold for Ksh280 at the time to retailers who in turn sold the trays for between Ksh300 to Ksh360.
He noted that Kenya imports a majority of the eggs consumed in the country, revealing that he was interested in increasing his production to over 20,000 birds as of 2024 and about 100,000 birds by 2026.
“Feeds take up the biggest chunk of production, which is 70 per cent of the production cost. So I plan to start making my own chicken feed so I can maximize on my profit,” he said.
Sande advises people interested in poultry farming to ensure they have proper funding, do proper research, setup quality structures, and get quality chicks so last to get maximum returns.