Geoffrey Kago, a 36-year-old entrepreneur, has come a long way from his humble beginnings as a village novice in Nyeri, Kenya.
Today, he is the proud owner of Kaki Village Enterprises, a thriving poultry business valued at Sh10 million. However, his journey to success was far from easy, and it all began with a single hen and a dream.
At the age of 12, while still in Class Four, Kago purchased his first exotic hen from his mother for just Sh20.
It was a Transylvania Naked Neck, a breed known for its fast breeding capabilities. Little did he know that this small investment would set him on a path to financial independence.
Over the years, Kago’s flock of chickens grew rapidly, allowing him to save enough money to fund his high school education at Nyeri High School. This early experience instilled in him a strong sense of ownership and independence, qualities that would serve him well in his entrepreneurial journey.
During high school, Kago’s interest in poultry technology blossomed. He faced challenges with traditional hatching methods and decided to innovate by creating an electric incubator. His invention won first place in the 1985 high school science congress at the district level and came second nationally.
Despite facing setbacks, such as a neighbor poisoning his flock, Kago remained determined to pursue his passion for poultry. In 1997, he relocated to Kiserian, where he worked various jobs to make ends meet, including stints as a stone mason, carpenter’s apprentice, and even a cigarette hawker.
It was his time as a cigarette hawker that provided him with the Sh600 capital he needed to make his first commercial electric incubator. Inspired by former President Mwai Kibaki’s call in 2002 for Kenyans to use their knowledge to improve their lives, Kago founded Kaki Village Enterprises.
Starting with the incubator, Kago diversified his business to include Candlers for checking eggs’ fertility and training farmers in poultry rearing and hatching. Since 2002, he has expanded his poultry and innovation business to three branches in Eldoret, Laikipia, and Gitaru, along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.
Kago breeds various birds, including ostriches, quails, ducks, and guinea fowls, in addition to chickens.
He believes in the viability of these alternative poultry sources for meat and eggs, emphasizing their lower feed consumption and disease resistance. He also encourages other farmers to diversify their poultry rearing.
In addition to poultry, Kago’s innovations have led to the production of Posho Mills and feed mixture machines for livestock feed formulation. His inventions have garnered interest from government agencies, research institutes, and NGOs involved in poverty alleviation projects.
Looking ahead, Kago aims to develop even more cost-effective technology solutions tailored to local needs. He believes that Kenyans have the potential to innovate and create solutions unique to their challenges, rather than relying on expensive technology from abroad.