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FAO to Aid Kenyan Livestock Farmers

19 October 2009

KENYA - The UN Food and Agricultural Organisation(FAO) have taken steps to stem cattle starvation and enhance productivity.

The move could relieve Kenya livestock farmers after years of losses accruing from prolonged drought in most parts of the country, reports East African Business Week.

This follows the launch of a $5.5 million (KSh414 million) programme which will be facilitated by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and which will among other things ensure the availability of feedstock and the enhancement of livestock marketing.

The initiative will target livestock farmers in vulnerable areas especially the Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASAL) and will see farmers realise enhanced livestock production.

"There are persistent high cereal prices and a severe decline in livestock prices. FAO is also cognisant of the fact that majority of the population in Kenyan ASALs are dependent on livestock keeping. It is these facts that have led to the development of this project," said FAO Representative in Kenya Castro Camarada last week.

Observing that the country's food situation remained precarious, Mr Camarada said the programme would focus on knowledge transfer and animal health, which were key constraints to poverty alleviation within the dairy sector. "Fodder will be an important source of income substituting the need to sell livestock- which are key livelihood assets- in order to purchase staple cereals such as maize and sorghum," he added.

An earlier government plan to buy livestock from farmers to save them the losses of starvation collapsed last month due to what was cited as poor management and lack of enough capacity at the Kenya Meat Commission to manage the upsurge in delivery.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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