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Pastoralists Adviced to Partner Private Sector

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Sahiwal, a Zebu breed primarily for dairy production, at the Kenya Agriculture Research Institute (Kari) in Naivasha, Nakuru County

Partnerships between pastoralists and private sector players can unlock the multi-billion shilling potential in the livestock industry which boasts over 4.2 million dairy animals, 27 million goats and 2.9 million camels.

Livestock Principal Secretary Professor Fred Segor said pastoralists communities must form associations that engage other sub-sector players as well as the government in seeking solutions that deny them gains from livestock keeping.

?Investigate the challenges facing this sector and mitigate the negative effects facing our livestock farmers, manufacturers, marketers and our consumers. The government supports the upcoming livestock expo as it will provide a platform for marketing livestock and livestock products and services through a broader audience,? he said.

LIVESTOCK EXPO

The PS spoke during a breakfast briefing meeting at Serena Hotel where it was announced that Kenya would host its first extensive Livestock Exposition on November 4 to 6 at University of Nairobi?s Upper Kabete Campus.

Professor Segor said this was aimed at directly linking farmers to meat processors thereby reducing the chain between the pastoralist communities to the meat buyers saying he was optimistic that deals worth over Sh500million would be sealed during the three day Expo.

KCB Foundation manager Ms Rachel Gathoni said the bank was actively involved in the Expo as it sought to increase market access for livestock keepers as well as create linkages important for business dealings.

Kenya Livestock Marketing Council chairman Mr Gulleid Abdullahi blamed county governments for reversing gains by devolution where ward representatives ignored local expertise in dairy farming to spend millions of shillings visiting livestock farms in Israel among other foreign countries.

MISPLACED PRIORITIES

?This money would have been spent educating farmers, providing much needed farm inputs as well as subsidising on provision of artificial insemination services. Devolution was to create wealth but our ward representatives have plundered the wealth leaving us in abject poverty,? he said.

Wajir East MP Abbas Mohamed said abattoirs must be constructed in pastoralists regions with locals trained on fodder production and beef herd improvement adding that full scholarships were being given to locals keen on being trained on animal husbandry at certificate, diploma and degree level.

?To improve the economy of our people begins at the production level. We look at fodder, breeds and how we market the mature cows. To improve the lives of our people requires us to stop selling raw hides and skins but to process them while cows should be slaughtered at source then transported to the cities,? he said.

By JAMES KARIUKI

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