Farmers Stories – Beatrice Losiwa
Beatrice Losiwa, a poultry farmer aged 36 years and mother of two, is an avid listener of Kalya FM agriculture programmes. She learned about poultry farming from one of the programmes and decided to venture into it. According to Pokot culture, only men are allowed to own livestock like cattle, sheep and goats. Women in their families do not have a freehand in buying or selling such animals and this is the situation Beatrice found herself in as she thought through a commercial livestock venture of her own. Her safest bet was to invest in poultry. Men in her community consider chicken to of inferior value and do not associate themselves with either rearing them or trading with them. “I needed a venture that I could call my own, who’s proceeds I can use or reinvest as I choose,” she explained.
Among the initial challenges she faced were poultry diseases with the potential to decimate her entire flock. From the programmes on radio, she was able to learn how to prevent poultry diseases them from affecting her chicken. She also heard about William Odhiambo, “the chicken doctor”, from the radio programme. William vaccinates chicken to prevent several common diseases. He shares his contacts on air and he receives numerous call requests from farmers who need information about successfully raising chicken. He says his farmer reach has increased significantly after he started visiting the studio at Kalya FM.
Beatrice is now investing more on her venture to increase her returns. She proudly showed us her new smart phone bought with the proceeds from her chicken enterprises.
Beatrice demonstrates equipment she uses to rear her chicks
William the ‘chicken doctor’ expresses a point at Beatrice’s home
Beatrice proudly shows KiMI’s Pamela Mburia her new smartphone
William was quick to point out that the women’s success with poultry farming in West Pokot is helping to break down cultural barriers as more men are attracted by the entrepreneurial opportunities availed from rearing chicken. A new cooperative for chicken farmers, Pokot Poultry Cooperative Society, has since been operationalized.
Beatrice, with the assistance of her husband, has invested in a structure that can host up to a 1,000 birds. She is quite excited with her new venture and is looking forward to being named the chicken champion farmer in her area!
Beatrice shows the team her newly built poultry house