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Move To Shield Kenyan Farmers From Dry Spell

24 January 2011

KENYA - Ministry of Livestock officials meet last week to plan how to use funds expected from the Treasury to help buy cattle from farmers who can no longer take care of them.

The ministry is seeking Sh1.5 billion from the Treasury to help in its response to the ongoing drought.

The dry spell has affected more than three million people dependent on livestock.

So far, about five deaths have been reported from drought related causes.

The livestock body says conditions are deteriorating as pastures dwindle.

Livestock prices have reduced drastically to less that 50 per cent in value, further compromising the purchasing power and food security of pastoralists in dry lands.

Livestock permanent secretary Kenneth Lusaka told the Nation that statistics showed that nearly one million head of cattle were at risk although about six million were potentially threatened.

Hardest hit areas

The hardest hit areas are Marsabit, Isiolo, Chalby, Moyale, parts of North Rift like Pokot and Turkana, Garissa Tana River, Baringo, Mandera, Wajir and Kwale.

“My technical team is working on details of how we will buy the cattle from farmers.

“We will use both Agricultural Finance Cooperation and Agricultural Development Cooperation sites as holding grounds,” said Mr Lusaka.

The animals would later be sold to the Kenya Meat Commission.

“We will move with a mobile abattoir so that the cattle that prove too weak to be brought to our intended destination are slaughtered on the spot and distributed as relief food,” said Mr Lusaka.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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