Livestock farmers in Baringo County have a reason to smile after county government started disbursing Sh.17.49 million from the sale of 1749 goats presented at Kimalel Goat auction late last year.
Presiding over the payment exercise at Marigat town on Friday, area Deputy Governor (DG), Jacob Chepkwony said they decided to expedite the payments to enable local farmers pay fees for their children and meet other household financial obligations.
Chepkwony said each goat presented during the auction presided over by Deputy President, William Ruto fetched Sh.10, 000 unlike Sh.11, 300 paid to the farmers in 2018.
He said out of the amount collected from the sale of the goats, the county government collected Sh.1.2 million in form of revenue.
“Baringo South presented 738 goats, the highest number, fetching Sh.6.8 million followed by Baringo North with Sh.3.0 million from 324 goats, Baringo Central had 54 goats fetching Sh.1.3 million, Tiaty 121 goats (Sh.2.5 million), Mogotio, 234 goats (2.176 million), while Eldama Ravine brought 33 goats which fetched Sh.306, 000,” he stated.
Accompanied by County Executive Member for Agriculture and Livestock development Thomas Nongonop, the DG urged local livestock keepers to step up their farming activities, saying the county government was committed to ensuring that more markets were made available for the animals.
“The aim of the auction being conducted year in year out in the county was to improve the economy of the rangelands and pastoral society whose livelihoods depended solely on livestock production,” Chepkwony reiterated.
He said that as an arid and semi-arid county, the best way to empower the area people economically was through livestock and exploitation of available natural resources like minerals and green energy.
And to ensure local farmers reap maximum gains from livestock keeping, Chepkwony stated that the county government has awarded a tender for the construction of Maoi slaughter house to facilitate value addition.
He said they expected the contractor to complete the works by August this year.
The DG said apart from receiving money from the sale of animals, communities in the region had a rare opportunity of showcasing their cultural talents in terms of music, dances and Kaldich rowing race carried out within Lake Baringo.
Chepkwony noted that the Kaldich race, one of the events in Kenya no other community has apart from those living around Lake Baringo plays an important role in peace building.
He observed that the thrilling race brings together Pokot, Tugen and Illchamus communities which hitherto were erstwhile enemies per se to demonstrate their rich cultural talents.
“The county government is committed to ensuring that more facilities are established within the shores of Lake Baringo in order to build the economy of the area and bring lasting peace,” he noted.
He argued that through sporting and diverse cultural activities the various communities living in the vast county will be able to interact, share new ideas and learn from each other in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility devoid of hatred.
A village elder from Baring North, Richard Chepchomei thanked the county government for organizing the goat auction which he noted had created an avenue for local farmers to sell their animals.
Chepchomei also commended the national government for restoring peace in cattle rustling prone areas of Baringo North and South, saying that the tranquility and stability will enable farmers to fully engage in livestock production.
By Joshua Kibet