Update on the Chicken Project.
As Ruth has been writing, Kenya is in a tough spot economically, and this is especially true for small-scale chicken farmers. While we (Mark and Karen) were visiting AMCC, we got the full story from John and talked with others in Kenya (Kenyans and Westerners) about the situation.
The chicken house is complete and has housed three batches of chicks from day 1 to selling. As it stands, raising chickens for meat is a tough business right now because of three main issues.
1. Feed has more than doubled in price since we began the Chicken Project.
2. Feed is now much poorer in quality because it is lacking some main ingredients that are not currently available to buy in Kenya. Chicks that used to take 6 weeks to grow to selling weight now take at least 9 weeks, so they must be fed for much longer than originally planned for.
3. The selling price of chickens has not gone up in proportion to the higher costs of raising the chickens, which leads us to suspect corruption somewhere down the line in this market.
These factors have rendered the small-scale chicken market unprofitable at the current time. These things are out of John’s control and could not have been predicted. He did a great job researching the market and we have fully supported him all along the way and will continue to. We are hoping and praying for recovery in this sector but until then are waiting so that we do not lose any more money.