Gov’t Rolls Out A Programme To Cushion Livestock Farmers In Drought-stricken Regions

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The government is now looking for more markets to export livestock in a bid to reduce huge losses in the drought-stricken regions, Livestock Principal Secretary Harry Kimutai has said.

Speaking in Mombasa during the launch of livestock and dairy farmer production catalogs Kimutai observed that for the last four seasons livestock farmers have been dealt a big blow through the loss of their livestock.

According to Kimutai, the government has offered interventions through an off-take programme at Kenya Meat Commission as well as looking for a market to export livestock to other countries as a way of cushioning the farmers from more losses.

The PS further revealed that plans are underway for the country to invest in climate-smart agriculture and livestock production as the last solution.

The PS said the ongoing four days dairy farmers feeding manual programme training in Mombasa is expected to come out with recommendations that will address challenges of drought affected areas.

The piloting intervention programme is supposed to begin in 14 ASAL counties facing a shortage of pasture and water.

Judy Odongo, Deputy Chief of Party USAID Kenya crops and dairy Market system project (KCDMS) the programme under the banner of sustainable food systems transformation agenda making climate-smart livestock production real will empower the farmers on livestock production.

She said the programme is sponsored by USAID in partnership with the government through the state department of Livestock as implementers.

Odongo said the five-year programme is focusing on animal breeding, animal nutrition, and the market for farmers’ livestock produce, milk, and their by-products.

USAID Deputy Chief of Party, said the programme has been rolled up in the counties of kitui, makueni, Taita-Taveta and all Western counties.

An estimated 2.5 million herds of livestock is said to have been lost as a result of the ongoing prolonged drought in the country.

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