Company information

Kenyan poultry entrepreneur turns $6 into a $100,000 business

Tweet about this on Twitter108Share on Facebook222Share on LinkedIn23Email this to someonePrint this page

In 2002, the frustrations associated with finding a good egg incubator to hatch chickens to sell and sustain his fledgling poultry business, drove Geoffrey Kago to invent one. So with around $6 he built one incubator, which marked the starting point of a poultry enterprise worth over $100,000 today.

Geoffrey Kago

Geoffrey Kago

It has been quite a journey for the soft-spoken man who receives 50 to 100 calls daily from Kenyans in various regions interested in his signature innovation called the Kaki Incubator. The incubator is named after his company Kaki Village Enterprise. It’s one of the most popular of his innovations, which also include egg candlers (lights used to observe the growth and development of an embryo inside an egg). “Sales this year have gone up by 50%,” says Kago.

At the time of conceptualising his incubator, Kago noticed that most of the incubators in the market were designed for large scale hatcheries and unaffordable for smallholder farmers.

Besides making electric incubators, Kago has also developed kerosene powered units. For regions where there is abundant sunlight, he converts the incubators to tap into solar energy. The company is currently also in the process of developing incubators that can run on biodiesel, sourced from cotton, croton and castor seeds. In Kenya’s Mai Mahiu area, where there are 3,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) due to the 2007 Kenyan post-election violence, Kago is providing them with castor seeds to plant on their small plots of land and in the neighbouring forest. He aims to be buying the castor seeds in the near future and provide IDPs with a source of income.

Loving the “sense of independence”

Growing up close to the rural Kenyan town of Nyeri, where his parents reared indigenous chickens, got Kago interested in poultry from a young age. In 1985, he bought his first chicken from his mother for $0.20. He was able to tend to it well and bred 200 chicks. From selling these chicks, Kago paid his high school fees from Form 2 to Form 4 at Nyeri High School.

“I loved the sense of independence,” he says. It was also in high school that the incubator innovation idea began budding, having experienced the challenges of traditional hatching with a mother chicken. An event which also spurred him to innovate was when a neighbour poisoned his chicken. The scaled-down versions of electric incubators he developed won him several prizes at high school science congresses.

To make ends meet after high school, Kago’s life took a different trajectory, almost drawing him away from his passion for poultry. In 1997, he went to Nairobi and settled in the Kiserian area. To survive, he worked as a stone mason and casual labourer. Later on he got work as an apprentice carpenter for two years in a funeral home where he learnt joinery. He got so skilled he could make pool tables.

The skills he learned from the funeral home proved priceless. He was able to join the dots when designing a viable working electric incubator in 2002. He bought the fittings needed for the incubator with $6 he saved from hawking cigarettes, his last job before re-entering the poultry business.

Today Kaki Village Enterprise is regularly courted by Kenyan government ministries and international NGOs, interested in the company’s technologies for farmer groups.

For Kago, his journey has not been without challenges. He is of the opinion that Kenyans are yet to appreciate local technology as the solution to boost industrialisation. He also says that banks make it difficult for small entrepreneurs to access credit facilities.

Kaki Village Enterprise currently has three branches in various parts of Kenya. At the age of 36, Kago is full of ambition and aims to start a unique poultry cooperative in the future. He is also a keen admirer of the Apple founder Steve Jobs.

,


  • Eunice Agingu

    This is great. May Kenyans, especially the youth emulate this.

  • Waziri Jemedar

    Hi !
    Can I have your contacts,i need incubators and am in Mwanza Tanzania.
    Waziri

  • Salome

    I need to buy an incubator ftom you. Procedure please.

  • Evans Ronoh

    congrants! how much do u sell one?

  • http://www.startupbusinessloans.com/research/ Sophia Walker

    Mr Kago, that is an awesome invention. More power to you.

  • Harriet

    Mr. Kago please let me know the cost of your incubators and the eggs they accommodate. Thank you

    • william laktano

      Congrats 4 this good iniciative.Iwould like to buy one of ua incubators.Let me know ua location and the prices as per their capacities thanks

  • james

    Mr Kago, I am interested in one of your incubators. kindly write back or avail your contacts via my email address. thanks

  • Moses Munialo

    Thanks for your article.Send me your price list and nearest collection point.am from bungoma.

  • virginiah kungu

    Am interested in your incubators. Please send me the prices, size and your contact. Am located at Naivasha.

    Regards: KUNG’U

  • incubators.org

    Thanks for sharing an inspiring article.

  • John

    Mr Kago, I am interested in one of your incubators. kindly write back or avail your contacts via my email address. thanks.

  • emmanuel muterere

    please somebody who knows the address of Mr Kago who makes the eggs incubator in Kenya, please send me the address of mr Kago

  • Lily Sawe

    HI,inspiring article it is.do you supply layer cages?i need one for 500 layers.let me know the price in KSH

  • mary orwenyo

    Good and very inspiring article. I need an incubator , please let me have the different size /prices to enable make an order.

  • Jacob Otieno Ongow

    Hi,Let me know your prices for various sizes you may have.

  • SILAS

    hallow i would like to know the price and how i can aquire one incubator.

  • stephen owuor

    i wuold like to know the incubator prices,capacities and how i can obtain one. Thank you

  • Stephane Fotso

    I would like to know the sizes of an incubator and the prices. Keep the good job.

  • Dorcas-Nairobi

    Hi there am interested in an incubator and starting my own chicken business, please assist.

  • ABUBAKAR AHMAD

    u can as well send me their prices in Dollars please.

  • ABUBAKAR AHMAD

    reply me to indicate u have seen my letter as i will buy one of your soller incubator as i think is the write answer for our area and solution for the mean time as if iam right an African problem can only be solved by an African brain.

  • edimeh

    What are the various capacities of small scale incubators you have and what are their prices in dollars please?

  • kumaresan.m

    I WANT an incubator

  • kumaresan.m

    sir your article is too good. thank you for your good job. i want a small incubator with small rate please sent to me. i will pay amount on delivery.
    my address:
    M.KUMARESAN
    2/171,bharathi nager,
    elavamalai,
    elavamalai (p.o),
    erode (t.k) & (d.t),
    pin-638316
    tamil nadu.