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Steve Sande’s journey: Pioneering nutrition with poultry

In the heart of Kisumu County, amidst tranquil landscapes, lies a story of resilience and innovation embodied by Steve Sande, the Founder and Chief Executive of Kamsa Poultry Ltd.

Established in 2014, Kamsa Poultry embarked on a mission to revolutionize nutrition and combat hunger in Kenya through the production of yellow-yoked chicken eggs.

Eggs, hailed as a nutritious source of protein, became the cornerstone of Sande’s vision.

Understanding the dire need for nutritional intervention in rural households, Sande set his sights on addressing this critical issue.

“With a modest beginning and fueled by determination, Kamsa Poultry started with less than 50 birds, a handful of which were generously provided by the neighbors, while the rest I acquired through purchase,” Sande informs.

Poultry venture does not demand extensive land or capital, making it accessible to aspiring farmers like Steve.

Initially operating as a Kienyeji farm, Kamsa Poultry faced challenges in marketing its traditional poultry products.

However, in 2018, according to Sande, he pivoted the business to focus on layers, expanding the flock to 2000 birds.

He says the transition proved pivotal, laying the foundation for Kamsa Poultry’s exponential growth.

In 2019, recognizing the need for strategic support, Sande applied for assistance from the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN).

Through GAIN’s technical expertise, he received invaluable training, honed his business acumen, and conducted comprehensive market research.

Bolstered by financial assistance, he says he forged ahead with renewed vigor.

By 2020, Kamsa Poultry had scaled up its operations significantly, boasting a flock of 5,000 layers.

Embracing cutting-edge technology, he adopted the cage system, enhancing accountability, reducing labor costs, minimizing egg loss, and optimizing efficiency.

The transition to battery cages, though capital-intensive, proved instrumental in streamlining operations and maximizing output.

“The journey from farm to market has not been without its challenges. Just like other farmers, we are faced by competition from the neighboring countries’ entry of eggs and chickens,” he told Nairobi News in an exclusive interview.

However, Mr Sande’s business model is centered on direct sales to retailers at wholesale prices, a move that ensures sustainability and profitability.

A crate of Kamsa eggs, synonymous with quality and nutrition, commands a price ranging from Sh450 to Sh500, reflecting the unwavering commitment to excellence.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2018 report, the consumption of poultry meat and eggs is projected to rise to 92,000 tons and 245,000 tons by 2050.

This growth, to Sande and other like-minded poultry investors, is set to be a milestone for them.

His journey is fraught with hurdles, particularly in accessing reliable inputs such as day-old chicks and feed.

He underscores the need for consistent and reputable suppliers to sustain Kamsa Poultry’s trajectory of success.

As Kamsa Poultry celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2024, Sande’s vision continues to resonate as a beacon of hope and resilience in the fight against hunger and malnutrition.

The farmer earned a coveted spot at the Sankalp Africa Summit 2024, the eleventh edition held in Nairobi last week.

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