Livestock commercialization project will upscale production in rural areas:  PS Harry Kimtai

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Livestock Production from farmers in  rural areas is still below commercialization levels and barely contribute to the agribusiness development sector.

Gracing a one-week workshop in Kisumu, Livestock Development PS Harry Kimtai  said if commercialized, rural areas could be the largest producers.

According to the PS in order to objectively and successfully achieve this the department is working with potential partners in the sector to commercialize the production.

“In tandem with this, KeLCoP organized a five-day synergy workshop with key partners to review areas of leveraging to aid in the fight against hunger and for sustainable development,” said Kimtai.

He adds, “These value chains can provide productive employment and food security opportunities for women, youth and marginalized segments of the population.”

The project majors on climate-smart production enhancement for small livestock, support to livestock market development and project management and coordination.

We target 3 groups of individuals totalling up to 110000 households. There may be an opportunity to expand depending on how fast we move

PS Kimtai

The Project

The PS said the six -year project which targets 110, 000 households will run upto 2027.

“We target 3 groups of individuals totalling up to 110000 households. There may be an opportunity to expand depending on how fast we move,” he reiterated.

The groups include very vulnerable, ultra-poor, mostly women-headed households, pastoralist and agro-pastoralist households.

The project also targets commercially orientated pastoralist and agro-pastoralist households.

The 9.4 billion project is expected to directly benefit 495,000 young women and men involved in the production and entrepreneurial activity at critical points in the value chain.

We’ve engaged with them on areas where we can collaborate and each of the sectors will be able to pick each chain they are able to support

PS Kimtai

Partnerships

The project is being implemented in 10 counties including Kakamega, Busia, Siaya, Bungoma, Elgeyo Marakwet, Samburu,Baringo, Marsabit, Trans nzoia and Nakuru.

It captures four value chains that is, improved indigenous poultry/chicken, dairy goat, honey,  goat and sheep meat.

“We picked on these to increase their incomes and because the investment required in these value chains is low and therefore the farmers will be able to uptake them and be supported,” noted the PS.

He also revealed that the workshop was to discuss with the private sectors on board so that they can also participate in the program to support the farmers.

“ We’ve engaged with them on areas where we can collaborate and each of the sectors will be able to pick each chain they are able to support, ” he furthered.

The project has also included financial institutions to provide finances where possible for honey keepers who face challenges of credit.

To provide easy market for poultry farmers, the PS said they have collaborated with Kenchic to use their technology, research, innovation and supply ability to link the farmers to other buyers.

The project also has grants from Heifer international who will pick dairy cows for the farmers who are able to buy.

KCB Foundation head Caroline Wanjeri said that through this collaboration, the government will increase financial inclusion in youth and women especially those in agribusiness.

“We want to work with cooperatives, lend through them and make sure that financial access goes down to the youth and women in the country,” she added.

Wanjeri said that they are working on introducing blended finance so that farmers do not just rely on grants but have sustainability to keep the program running even after its period has elapsed.

Project Outcome

The PS projects that the project will enhance poor rural farmers’ production through collaboration with partners in the livestock sector.

In addition, it will enhance the target’s benefit from market participation.

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