December 26, 2021

The transformative impact of crowdfunding on poultry farming in Kenya:

In 2020, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic had an extremely detrimental effect on agribusiness SMEs in Africa. The enforced lockdowns meant that supply chains were disrupted, and markets rendered inaccessible, thereby putting agribusinesses in a perilous financial state.

To help partner agribusiness SME’s sustain their operations during the pandemic, 2SCALE resorted to crowdfunding as a way to help the companies to raise money. The first phase went well, with a total of $151,543 being raised. Given the prolonged effects of the pandemic, there was a need to explore ways of helping partner agribusiness SME’s sustain their operations in 2021 due to the after-effects of the pandemic. 2SCALE facilitated a second cohort of the crowdfunding campaign in May 2021. The second cohort had a total of 53 SMEs from Kenya, Mali, and Nigeria participating – up from 38 in 2020. A total of $174,573 was raised, and over $109,000 matched by 2SCALE.

Homerange Poultry – How They Mobilized Support

One of the participant SMEs in the 2021 2SCALE Crowdfunding was Homerange Poultry Kenya Limited – one of the partnerships that is focused on the poultry value chain in Kenya. The main objective for HPK to venture into crowdfunding was to crowdsource for funding to enable them to establish a chicken and feed aggregation centre in Makueni County, Kenya.

After a rigorous month of campaigning, HPK managed to raise KES 949,242(USD 8,839) – exceeding their initial target of KES 650,000(USD 5,745). In addition to exceeding the target, HPK also managed to have the most donors (1111 unique individual donors) out of all 58 participating SMEs in the cohort. 2SCALE also matched stakeholder contributions with KES 262,156 (USD 2,343) with the achievement of most donors earning them an additional bonus amount of KES 194,807(USD 1722).

“Our mentality from the start was to mobilize as many people as contribute. They did not necessarily have to contribute a lot because if a lot of people donate even a little, it adds up to something significant,” says Ian Mutwiri, the CEO of Homerange Poultry.

“We posted in all the farmer training groups that we have interacted with since the inception of HPK with the appeal to support. We even resorted to calling people personally and this really made a huge difference. I mobilized my personal networks including my school alumni groups and also mobilized all HPK staff to do the same. Eventually, the approach worked and what we raised exceeded even our expectations by far.”


Impact of the Aggregation Center

The aggregation centre in Emali town in Makueni County was launched in October 2021 and is now fully operational. The centre serves an expansive geographical scope, ranging from Emali, Mulala, Salama, and Kibwezi. The centre has a shop/information center where farmers can learn more about HPK and get extension services support as well as a store/warehouse where chicken feed is collected by farmers. Some of the products sold at the shop are KARI Improved Kienyeji Day old chicks, specially formulated poultry feeds for KARI breed (Chick Mash, Growers Mash and Layers Mash), and mineral supplements (calcium and vitamins).

“So far, the centre has been able to create over 50 direct jobs if you count aggregators, transporters, loaders, salespeople and that in itself is a huge impact in the local area. Farmers are benefiting by virtue of them having quality inputs close to their farms. We intentionally want to change the game in terms of how customers are served. To us our focus is on creation of quality not on price. For our farmers to do better, they have to be certain that we have their best interests at heart and not just focused on profits like most businesses,” explains Ian.

Based on the impact that the aggregation centre is having on poultry production in the area, Ian envisions opening up similar centres in Kibwezi, Voi, and Mariakani in the near future to meet the needs of indigenous chicken farmers in Kenya.

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