Having been born and raised in rural Kenya, we identified the challenges that women in our rural communities face in their daily struggles to earn a basic income and fend for their families. In every homestead in our rural communities there were and still there are free-range chicken being raised by our mothers. These chicken are reared as a source of food for the family or for sale in order to get some income and buy basic household necessities, pay hospital bills and school fees among many other expenses.
However, individual rural women practicing free-range chicken farming in Kenya are incapacitated in their efforts to grow their poultry businesses by 4 major challenges including: lack of access to quality farm inputs, agribusiness knowledge, financing and market linkages. These limitations condemn them to subsistence farming practices that contribute to the vicious cycle of extreme poverty in our rural communities.
We are changing this status quo by economically empowering our mothers in the rural communities to transition from subsistence to commercial poultry farming. We believe that by economically empowering women in our rural areas through agribusiness; we are directly empowering the whole society and the trickle down effect will contribute directly or indirectly to the achievement of 11 of the 17 Global Sustainable Development Goals in our rural communities.
Our solution is a hub & spoke social franchise network model that brings together rural women in free range chicken farming and uses mobile technology to support them to efficiently & effectively access the 4 major capacity building services they need to grow their poultry enterprises including: quality & affordable farm inputs, technical support & training, financing and market linkages.
Using our online platform called “Kuku+” (available on USSD and soon launching on android and on the web) we provide an online pooled procurement system that helps our network members to access quality products at affordable prices & from reliable suppliers. We also provide technical support and trainings to our network members via the mobile platform & thru field extension services to equip them with agronomic & business skills.
In addition, we provide our network members with access to affordable & customized financing options through our farmers’ owned SACCO, partnerships with financial institutions & suppliers as well as by capitalizing on their data in our online farmers’ platform. Finally, we manage a collective selling system that gives our network members a higher bargaining power in the market; and also provide direct access to physical markets and via our online market platform to eliminate agents and ensure maximum return on investment to our network members.
We use a two-staged hub & spoke social franchise model as our operating strategy. Kuku Kienyeji Farm is the franchisor and the main central hub within the network. We then have the second level of village hubs through which we have direct contact with the individual franchisees in our network. The village hubs have a minimum of 5 members and a maximum of 50 members each. For each village hub we have a leader who coordinates activities on the ground in collaboration with the team members from the main hub/franchisor (Kuku Kienyeji Farm).
Currently we are running a pilot in Nakuru County and we shall later on expand our model to other counties with a goal of covering 29 counties in 5 years.
“An old Ghanian proverb says “Educate a man and you educate one person; educate a woman and you educate the nation!”. At Kuku Kienyeji Farm we firmly believe that by empowering women economically, we are indeed empowering the whole community economically. Women are not only the best custodians of wealth in our societies, but the best stewards who ensure the wealth is equitably distributed to cater for all social-economic needs of the family unit including nutrition, healthcare, education, savings & investment as well as other development projects at the micro-economic level.
You can always trust an economically empowered mother to improve the living standards of her family now and invest for a brighter future for her children, hence helping in reducing poverty today and sustainably creating wealth for our future generations. That is why we are committed to economically empowering our mothers in rural communities and urge other young men in Africa to join us in the good course to end poverty and create wealth sustainably in Africa.” – Kuku Kienyeji Farm, Kenya.