Organisation now helping quail farmers market products directly

A farmer displays quail eggs in Nyeri on January 18, 2014. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI

A farmer displays quail eggs in Nyeri on January 18, 2014. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI  NATION MEDIA GROUP

The Wild Birds Farming Association of Kenya, a non-governmental organisation, is currently recruiting farmers in a bid to help them bypass middlemen and market their quail eggs and meat directly.

Speaking after holding a meeting with the farmers, Association treasurer Samuel Muriithi said 300 farmers from over seven countries had signed up to the plan.

Mr Muriithi said farmers in Kenya were suffering losses after investing heavily in quail farming due to a lack of market for their products, adding that brokers were taking advantage of what many consider a flooded market.

“This is an awareness meeting to act fast and assist quail farmers to continue rearing the quail birds since there is hope of finding market,” he said, noting that farmers were beginning to give up on the venture.

The Wild Birds Farming Association of Kenya was started in 2009 with the aim of boosting bird rearing in the country, according to Mr Muriithi, who rejected claims that quail farming is a pyramid scheme.

Deteriorating market

As a result of a deteriorating local market, some quail farmers are reportedly releasing their birds to avoid incurring further losses.

The organisation plans to explore markets for quail products both locally and internationally and hope to import machines to mince the birds for consumption and export purposes.

A member of the organisation, Emma Njoora, claimed that quail eggs aided her recovery from arthritis, adding that the eggs and meat had numerous health benefits.

“I have been suffering from spinal arthritis for nine years and after completing my medication comprising only of drinking quail eggs, I have fully recovered,” she said.

However Hudson Nyambaka, a professor of analytical/nutritional chemistry at Kenyatta University, says claims such benefits as a result of using quail products are not backed by local studies.

“These claims are part of a marketing campaign,” said Prof Nyambaka. “To protect the public from fraudsters, the government ought to get involved and ensure that the medical claims allegations are proven scientifically. Since we already know which active compounds deal with such illnesses, that should be easy.”

By EVALYNE GITHINJI

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