Bird flu outbreak leaves poultry entrepreneurs in fever

In Agribusiness

Kenyan entrepreneurs face the risk of losing millions of shillings to the deadly Avian bird flu that is on the rampage in neighbouring Uganda.

Given the porous borders Kenya’s shares with Uganda it may be almost impossible for Kenya to control the entry of the flu into the country. Kenya shares miles of unmanned border points leave alone the open waters of Lake Victoria in which fishermen and sailors traverse daily.

This is also exacerbated by the constant high human and cargo traffic on Kenya’s border points with Uganda and the litany of people with relatives living across the border.

Kenya imported 120 tonnes of eggs from Uganda last year and 33 tonnes of poultry meat.


Kenya on Monday banned the imports of poultry products from Uganda following the news of the highly infectious disease outbreak. The disease affects most animals including humans. Poultry farming is an economic mainstay of western Kenya and a major industry in the rest of the country providing thousands of jobs.

“They are easy to maintain and we depend on the them for our livelihood, we don’t incur any costs in feeding them, it will be a major blow to household incomes,” said Namacheke Naliaka a chicken farmer in Busia County in western Kenya.

READ: Bungoma chicken farmers cash in on Christmas demand

Given the free range nature of the way of chicken are reared in western Kenya, birds from Uganda

The outbreak of Avian flu in Uganda is causing jitters in Kenya’s multibillion poultry industry in a move that could leave many without their source of income.


The disease which kills and leads to culling of the of birds in the affected areas could drastically change the economic status of many as chicken farming is the backbone of Kenyans especially in western Kenya.

READ: How village egg banking is redefining saving

The key source of meat could shake many homes, the hospitality industry if the disease showed up in Kenya.

READ: Uganda drought boon for North Rift maize farmers

The farmers also sale their birds to major cities as demand shifts in favor of traditional chicken also called kienyeji. Uganda is also a key source of food to Kenya and this puts East Africa’s largest economy right in the middle of the heat.

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