What you need to know:
- The annual Kimalel goat auction raised more than Sh40 million from the sale of more than 3,000 goats.
- The President insisted on cash payments for the sales, categorically stating that he would not accept those buying the goats to issue cheques or take goats on credit. He insisted on cash to avoid debt.
The annual Kimalel goat auction raised more than Sh40 million from the sale of more than 3,000 goats, with President William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua buying goats worth Sh15 million.
The auction and cultural fair that took place in Baringo South saw more than 3,000 goats sold in just a few minutes, with farmers from across the county recording good sales ahead of Christmas.
The President and his deputy purchased more than 1,000 goats at Sh15,000million. Their purchase broken down was Sh15,000 for each goat.
While presiding over the annual event at the Kimalel grounds in Baringo South on Thursday, the President insisted on cash payments for the sales, categorically stating that he would not accept those buying the goats to issue cheques or take goats on credit. He insisted on cash to avoid debts.
"I want us to buy the goats now and I am not going to accept any cheque from the buyers, only cash transactions.
Together with my deputy, we are buying Sh1,000 goats at Sh15,000 while the other buyers can purchase at Sh13,000 as they have agreed,” said President Ruto, who collected more than Sh40 million from the dignitaries who bought the goats.
The event was also attended by Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen, Simon Chelugui (MSMEs), Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi, Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Wisley Rotich, Senator William Cheptumo(Baringo), Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho), among other leaders.
CS Murkomen and Chelugui bought 150 goats each, while ICT PS John Tanui and Governor Cheboi took 100 goats each.
The county government sold more than 3,000 goats up from 1,500 last year.
The President revealed that his Kenya Kwanza government is negotiating 5,000 acres of land in Naivasha to construct leather industries, as part of its efforts to promote Kenya’s manufactured products.
The President insisted on value addition and promised to support the devolved unit to complete the Sh141 million abattoir in Maoi to divert from selling goats physically but instead slaughter and sell their products.
"Once the slaughter is complete, we want to focus on value addition so that you will be able to export your meat and their products,” said Dr Ruto.
"There is Maoi abattoir in Baringo County and we want to promote value addition so that farmers are away with the selling of their goats physically," said the Head of State.
"We also want to establish feedlots in the area and construct a multimillion Radad dam to improve the livestock sector. We are also setting up more than 5,000 affordable housing in Baringo County that would see more than 10,000 youths getting employment," he stated.
The county government of Baringo is now rolling its sleeves to revamp the event, with its main focus being the value addition of the meat products.
The multi-million-shilling project funded by the European Union is expected to benefit over 400,000 livestock farmers and traders accounting for over 60 percent of the total county’s population.
Through the project, the county government is also banking on increased revenue from the livestock sector which is also the major revenue earner in the region.
The county’s livestock sector is expected to take the first lane from the grant which will attract investment in cottage industries on meat bi-products.
The abattoir aims to enhance the commercialisation and improvement of beef production and subsequently generation of income for residents.
According to Governor Cheboi, once complete, the slaughterhouse which is targeting both the local and the export market is designed to handle more than 1,000 small stock (sheep and goats) and 200 large stock (cattle) and will adopt a sustainable market-oriented strategy.
"We have established a modern abattoir in Maoi and it is 99 percent complete. We are moving from the concept of selling live animals to value addition for all products. The move by the state to come up with the county aggregation and industrial parks will also go a long way to promote livestock farmers,” said the county boss.
"Going forward, the county will not be selling live animals to our customers beyond Baringo County. The multi-million-shilling abattoir will open doors for value addition through the export of its refined meat products and also aims to enhance commercialisation and improvement of beef production and subsequently generation of income to residents.
He said that it would also have a turn-around effect on the economy as it would create a ready market for livestock products and also provide employment for more than 30,000 people.
In a bid to improve the living standards of farmers in Baringo County who mostly depend on livestock as their economic mainstay, the Kimalel goat auction, an annual event, which was a brainchild of the late retired President Daniel Moi was started in 1986.
By the time it was stopped, the project had seen over Sh50 million raised from the sale of about 31,863 goats, 2,518 sheep, and hundreds of cows.
The late former nominated MP and Moi’s ally Ezekiel Barng’etuny, was the one who organised the auction which would see over 8,000 goats sold in just one day, many of them through lots of bidding.
With the advent of devolution, the county government revived the auction in 2014 and introduced the cultural component to make it a fun-filled event, which has seen millions of shillings raised to support farmers.