A total 312 dairy goat farmers in Turkana South, Loima and Turkana Central Sub-Counties, will benefit from a supplementary livestock feed distribution initiative to be undertaken by the County in partnership with Frontier Children Development Organization.
Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries County Executive Philip Aemun on Thursday said that prepositioning of the livestock feeds to sub-county reserve stores and distribution to dairy goat breeders in Angarabat and Lokapel areas of Turkana South and Kanamkemer ward in Turkana Central, is meant to cushion the livestock against deaths.
Aemun cited desert locust infestation that affected the county and limited feeds as some of the reasons for the intervention.
He said that other places that will benefit from phase one of livestock supplementary feed distribution include Kalemnyang in Lobei/Kotaruk ward and Kekorongole in Turkwell ward of Loima Sub-County.
The County Executive who spoke on Thursday afternoon in Lodwar when he flagged off vehicles carrying livestock feeds to sub-counties reserve stores, emphasized the need for households, especially those living in urban areas to rear the Toggenburg goats to improve households’ nutrition through dairy milk.
Aemun added, “The distribution of the feeds will improve breeding and young stock since they are high feeders, reduce food insecurity and improve beneficiaries purchasing power through improved incomes realized from sales of surplus milk and healthy animals.”
The County Government in FY2019/20 procured a total 3,148 bags of range cubes packed in 50kg bags. 2,578 bags of livestock feeds meant for Turkana North, Turkana Central, Kibish, Loima and Turkana Central have been stored here in the Lodwar feeds reserve store, while 570 bags meant for Turkana South and East Sub-Counties have been stored in Lokichar strategic feeds store.
CEC Aemun said apart from the feeds procured by the County Government, other partners involved in the desert locusts interventions are planning to procure additional supplementary feeds to cushion livestock farmers against adverse effects of pasture inadequacy resulting from desert locust invasion.
County Chief Officer for Fisheries, Livestock Production and Veterinary Services Abdullahi Yussuf said that additional intervention include plans for pasture production, rangelands rehabilitation and management, as well as livelihoods diversification activities such as poultry and bee keeping.
The County Director for Livestock production Bobby Ekadon said that the department is awaiting the disbursement of funds from the National Government, to cover hard-hit drought hotspots areas like Kalapata, Kerio Delta, Lakezone, Kalokol and Kaeris wards that are currently constrained in terms of feeds pasture availability.
He said Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) intends to support the directorate with 5,000 bags of range cubes as a post locust recovery program to cushion the affected livestock species in the County.
By Peter Gitonga