Winstone Chiseremi @Wchiseremi
More than Sh5.8 million was realised in less than an hour at the inaugural chicken auction at Kamagut trading centre on Eldoret-Webuye highway, Uasin Gishu county.
Launching the auction on Saturday, Deputy President William Ruto said the event will be held annually to empower the youth, women and the elderly in the region. Incidentally, Ruto hawked chicken at the same market in his youthful days, traversing various parts of the expansive county to buy the commodity from villagers before selling them to motorists on the highway at a profit.
The DP Ruto recalled how, together with fellow entrepreneurs, they would take advantage of slow traffic at the railway crossing in Maili Tisa to reach out to potential customers travelling to either Uganda or Nairobi. Power delegation He said most of their customers were travellers in public service vehicles and transit goods truck drivers on the busy highway.
The event was attended by a high-powered delegation led by Energy Cabinet secretary Charles Keter, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago, Senator Margaret Kamar and Mining Chief Administrative Secretary John Mosonik.
Others were MPs Oscah Sudi (Kapseret), Janet Sitienei (Turbo), Caleb Kositnay (Soy),Uasin Gishu Speaker David Lagat and his Elgeyo Marakwet counterpart Philemon Sabulei. Chicken farmers from North Rift and Western regions brought more than 6,000 chicken to the venue which were sold in clusters of a minimum 50 birds. A chicken averaged Sh1,200.
President Uhuru Kenyatta bought 500 chicken worth Sh600,000 through his deputy, Keter bought 1,000 birds worth Sh1.2 million while Mosonik bought 500 chicken worth Sh600,000.
Ruto said they will add value to the venture by providing cold storage and a slaughterhouse for the sellers to earn maximum profit from the chicken business.
“One of the key Jubilee government’s agenda is to ensure food security in the country. Chicken provides us with meat as well as eggs and by making the venture sustainable and profitable, we will achieve these goals,” he said.
Governor Mandago said poultry business in the region has a daily turnover of Sh500,000 at Maili Tisa and Kambi Nyasi selling points on the Eldoret-Webuye highway.
“As a county, we want to harness this venture to ensure we improve livelihoods of residents who have been traditionally dependent on cereal farming,” he said.