KMC launches livestock off-take programme in Turkana

Livestock farmers

 Livestock traders in Lodwar after meeting Kenya Meat Commission officials on Friday.

Photo credit: Sammy Lutta | Nation Media Group

Victims of drought in Turkana County can now breathe a sigh of relief after Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) on Friday launched a livestock off-take programme.

KMC Assistant Production Manager Tom Okayo said that the parastatal was targeting to buy 1,000 heads of cattle in the commercial off-take programme at Sh20, 000 each.

"Budget constraints had limited us on the number of livestock to be bought from the pastoralists. We are, however, seeking more stakeholders to ensure we get adequate resources to buy as many cattle as possible," Mr Okayo said.

He said that Turkana was identified as part of the 10 counties that have been severely affected by drought, with the parastatal seeking to buy a total 11,250 heads of cattle from affected pastoralists in those counties as part of drought mitigation measures.

Mr Okayo said that they will start receiving cattle at the factory from October 4 with payment done 72 hours after their delivery.

County Livestock Marketing Council Chairman Joseph Losuru said that the programme will boost livestock trade.

Mr Losuru said that as a result of drought, pastoralists are losing their livestock due to lack of pasture and water with weak ones failing to get buyers.

County Chief Officer for Livestock Abdulahi Yusuf said that 75 per cent of water sources have dried up and depth of traditionally hand dug wells is increasing substantially due to prolonged drought.

"At least four million livestock are at risk of dying due to drought, we appeal for more partners to support off take programmes," Mr Yusuf said.

He noted that the drought has led to an increase in livestock diseases due to migration in search of pasture and water.

"Deterioration of vegetation conditions especially in the pastoral grazing fields has also led to a sharp decline in milk production, leaving locals vulnerable," the county official said.

According to a report by National Drought Management, Drought Turkana has been classified in the crisis phase on food security with a population 640,000 in need of food or cash assistance.

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.