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'Quail farming is not a pyramid scheme'

24 January 2014, 16:45 Joseph Njung’eh

Nyeri - More than 500 quail farmers from various counties in Mount Kenya region met Friday at St. Culbert PCEA hall in Nyeri to form a union.

According to Samuel Muriithi Maina, the Treasurer of Wild Birds Farmers Association of Kenya, the meeting was aimed at recruiting more members so that they can be able to control the quail eggs market.

Muriithi dismissed reports that the business is going down saying that more people are willing to venture into the enterprise.

The organization is aiming at assisting farmers to generate wealth through sustainable management of the wild birds, as well as support small and medium businesses, according to the official.

Muriithi said those criticizing the industry calling it a pyramid scheme should realize that the trade is lucrative and is the reason why more people are investing in it.

He pointed out that during the meeting, farmers resolved to be marketing their products together as a union, without involving middlemen whom he said are frustrating the farmers and violating the industry.

“Business is not going down. Everyday more people are expressing interests of joining the sector. The problem is middlemen in the market who have now destroyed the business,” said Muriithi.

“The association will facilitate access to knowledge, skills and technology that enhance value addition to wild birds’ products and services and also build the capacity of the members in the sector,” he added.

Muriithi however admitted that prices of quail eggs have dropped from KES130 to less than KES 50.

Emma Njoora, a member of the organization, narrated how she got cured of Asthma and Arthritis after taking quail eggs.

“I suffered from Asthma and Arthritis for nine years and after taking quail eggs for several months the diseases were gone. Now am in good health just because of the quail products,” she said.

However, farmers are not making hefty profits due to the saturation of the quail products in the market.

Reports indicate that the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) offices are receiving about 200 letters daily from farmers applying to have licences to rear the small wild bird. A licence from KWS to allow one to keep quail birds goes for KES 1,500.

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