The world marks World eggs day today 12th October with grim statistics on Kenyans egg consumption trends despite its numerous health benefits. Kenya falls acutely below international egg consumption rate standing at an annual 36 eggs per person against the World Health Organization recommended 180 eggs per person per year despite the country having some 15million egg laying chickens.
Kenyan's egg consumption contrasts sharply with that of their Chinese counterparts who account for the highest consumers of eggs worldwide eating an average 330 eggs per person per year. “The explanation here is that Kenyans have a habit of selling eggs but not eating them. I advise Kenyans to keep poultry and consume eggs,” said Dr David Nyagaka the Novus International’s technical sales manager for East Africa.
Novus International is in the business of developing animal health and nutrition solutions through feed supplements, preservatives and feed additives and has been actively involved over the years in organizing world eggs day.
One needs to eat at least three to five eggs in a week, or better still one daily to meet the required energy level and health requirements according to health experts.
This loosely translates to a maximum of Sh84 in a week, a figure that is way below the price of half kilogramme of meat or fish that cost Sh200 and 350 respectively, making it essentially a meal that can be afforded by all.
One egg contains 13 essential vitamins and minerals including Vitamin D. Egg yolks are an excellent source of choline, an essential nutrient that promotes fetal brain development as well as helps prevent birth defects. The high-quality protein found in eggs is digested more slowly than other nutrients, so it has been shown to help people stay energized. An egg and orange ensures that one gets a complete diet, as the only mineral missing in eggs is vitamin C, which is complimented with the consumption of the fruit.
There has also been heightened call to farmers across the world to move to poultry farming due to its cheap investment in terms of start up capital and land space as population explosion exerts more pressure on limited land. For example an eighth of an acre is enough to accommodate over 4,000 chicken and with an average of an egg per chicken a day translates to 4,000 eggs daily. An egg costs Sh10 returning an impressive Sh120,000 a month, few other agricultural investment would give such high returns within a short span. “I keep about 300 chicken, so in my eighth of an acre land I also have pigs, grow vegetables and other horticultural produces, something that would not be tenable if I had ventured exclusively on something else,” says Esther Muthoni a teacher cum farmer in Thika who makes approximately Sh110,000 monthly from the sale of eggs and sells her chicken to leading hotels after three months with each chicken fetching Sh120,000. At the end of the three months that she rears the eggs she gets Sh350,000 profit after expenses. "Something i wouldnt get that first with anything else," she recants happily.
“Livestock which are ruminants emit more gases compared to poultry and if more people embraced poultry keeping, the environment will gain more. Poultry keeping should also be seen as a source of income when done on large scale,” said Dr Nyagaka.
This year, the country is marking the World egg day at the Thika Municipal stadium with sponsors of the event like like Kenchic, Kenya Poultry farmers Association and Animal Feeds Association training farmers on simple ways of producing high quality eggs in a safe environment eliminating risks of contamination brought about by bacteria when eggs mix with poultry faeces.
Lined up events for the day include talks from nutritionists, road shows, exhibitions, and trainings on storage of eggs, marketing opportunities and cooking eggs.
Written by Bob Koigi for African Laughter
Newer news items:
- Financial model pays farmers to produce more - 10/10/2013 16:31
- Central Kenya farmers replace money with manure - 29/08/2013 14:41
- Kenya bets on Hass Avocado to up exports - 14/08/2013 09:50
- Exporters' scramble for Kenyan nut pushes farmers back to cultivation - 26/07/2013 10:31
- Camel skin drums beat in favour of farmers and traders - 09/11/2012 16:57
Older news items:
- Association launched to drive farmers harder into banana market - 01/03/2012 12:35
- When dead wood is good wood - 01/03/2012 12:27
- Kenyans love for tea push consumption higher - 01/03/2012 11:43
- Coconut rises as commercial crop in coast - 01/03/2012 11:10
- Soybean farming blossoms in growth market - 01/03/2012 10:52