Andrew Amwayi, a trained trainer of trainees (T.O.T) in youth group dynamics and formation, is building a thriving poultry business in Bungoma County with the main objective of creating a business model that will improve household incomes and nutrition through the improvement of indigenous poultry production.
Recently crowned among the 200 beneficiaries of the AgriBiz programme funded by Eu, Danida and implemented by Kenya Climate Innovation Centre(KCIC), his startup Andytech solutions deals with pure local chicken breeds, chicken droplets, quality intense layers and broiler chicken production.
“I have been a youth leader in Bungoma County for so long which motivated me to lead by example. I then identified the poultry farming business with the main mission of reducing poverty, malnutrition and unemployment in the county. It made it easier for me to explore further into this kind of business.” said, Andrew.
He has been expanding his business gradually with a team of five youth; three women and two men. “Due to limited capital, I decided to start small and gradually expand with a view of increasing the investment and grow the venture.” He said.
The criteria for the selection of the beneficiaries were pegged on different startups’ potential to develop and improve the production of at least one of the value chains in the agribusiness sector. This has always been Andrew’s dream and vision.
He explains that the programme has come at the right time, especially now when the pandemic has taken the center stage of Kenya’s economy. He is grateful to have qualified for the programme and looks forward to learning and positively benefitting from it.
“I usually supply my products to schools, hotels, retails and pubs, right now I have nowhere to take them. There is no ready market at the moment. Hopefully, through this program, my business will gain exposure and it will be easier for me to move my products in large quantities,” he added.
The containment measures have affected his company’s revenue, and he has also experienced a significant drop in demand which has made him more financially fragile. “You know us SMEs are at a high risk of losing our businesses due to financial constraints in accessing traditional funding and COVID-19 has made everything even worse,” said Andrew.
Amidst all the challenges, he acknowledges the Kenya Climate Innovation Centre for coming on board and offering business advisory, mentorship and enabling environment for his business venture. “At least through the mentorship in this program, I have enhanced my presence a little bit on social media, very soon, I will see a boost in my business growth.” He explained.
Andrew also appreciates the funding organizations EU, DANIDA and KCIC team for seeing the value in smallholder farmers and marginalized groups. He hopes that measures to help sustain short-term liquidity needs such as loan guarantees, grants or subsidies will soon be available to SMEs to help them grasp new business opportunities, provide right incentives and boost their entrepreneurial potential.