President Museveni will on Tuesday open a modern multi-billion poultry farm in Semuto, Nakaseke district.
YoKuku poultry farm, a Ugandan-family company owned by Hudani Manji Holdings Ltd, sits on 64 acres of land and has a feed mill, a hatchery, broiler farm and processing plant. Bonita Kwizera, the farm’s communications manager, says they have invested $10m (Shs 26bn) since last year, when they opened shop here.
Currently, the broiler farm has six breeding houses hosting up to 260,000 birds, which are sold off as dressed chicken meat after eight weeks, a company statement said. The hatchery produces day-old chicks for their broiler farm and some are sold to commercial poultry farmers in the country.
Much of YoKuku products, especially packed chicken meat, are supplied to leading hotels and restaurants, including the KFC chain and Sheraton. Speaking to journalists in Kampala last week, Rafik Manji, the company’s managing director, said Hudani Holdings was responding to the huge demand for chicken in the country.
Kwizera said they were already exporting to South Sudan and eastern DR Congo, although still on a limited scale. Tuesday, the farm’s directors will seize the opportunity and make an appeal to the president to reduce on the high duty on poultry exports. In the next seven years, YoKuku directors plan to increase their broiler farm production to 650,000 birds per cycle, according to the company profile.
“The intention to increase production is aimed at meeting the high demand for chicken in Uganda and could also help in reducing prices on poultry products in general,” Kwizera said, adding that they wanted to explore the largely-untapped regional markets.
Often, firms like Fresh Cuts have cried of limited supplies from local farmers. Last year, Fresh Cuts managing director Stephan Duyck told The Observer: “Every day, we shout here that farmers should give us as many animals and birds [chicken] as they can, but we hardly get these supplies.”
“If a farmer can raise 50 quality birds, you are welcome to be our supplier. The factory demands about 2,000 birds a day in Uganda alone. This means we will need more supplies to meet the market demand in the region,” Duyck said.
And YoKuku’s entry comes handy for firms like Fresh Cuts, although they are also likely to be competitors in the processed meet arena. Meanwhile, the farm’s feeds mill, which produces four tonnes of flour per hour, offers a ready market for maize and soya bean farmers. Through an out-growers’ programme, YoKuku farm owners will buy the maize and soya bean from local farmers as raw materials for their feeds mill.
Currently, YoKuku employs 300 people – mainly Semuto residents – working in the processing facility and on the farm. Officials boast that their 15,000-square-foot chicken processing facility is the largest in East Africa. However, YoKuku should not expect a smooth ride in the market. It will have to compete with players such as Ugachick Poultry Breeders Ltd, the country’s leading player in the local poultry sector.
For almost a decade, Ugachick, owned by local businessman Aga Sekalala Senior, has seen its products such as day-old chicks and poultry feeds enjoy a commendable market share in different countries, including Kenya, South Sudan, Burundi, and Rwanda.
Source : The Observer