More than 100,000 households in Baringo are set to benefit from a deal by the Baringo County Government to export livestock products from the County to Kuwait and United Arabs Emirates (UAE).
Speaking at his Kabarnet Office’s, Wednesday, after meeting a delegation of investors from the two Gulf countries, Governor Stanley Kiptis, stated that the agreement was geared towards improving livelihoods of farmers who for long were challenged in accessing market for their livestock products.
“This deal is crucial because it will complement our Maoi Slaughter House in Baringo South which is almost complete and will attract more livestock products from our neighbouring counties including Laikipia, Elgeyo Marakwet, and West Pokot who will also supply their goats and sheep to be slaughtered and exported directly to foreign markets,” said Kiptis.
He noted that the County whose 75 per cent of residents are livestock farmer’s, boasts of more than 1 million goats and 500,000 sheep majorly reared for subsistence use hence the deal will further enhance the value chain through commercialisation of the sector.
The County boss said his administration has already empowered farmers in the County through purchase of improved breeds such as galla bucks’ goats and Sahiwal bulls with the intention of increasing productivity and quality of the animals in readiness for the export market.
North Rift Economic Block (NOREB) Coordinator, Joseph Makilap, noted that the County is situated in strategic location and would make use of the neighbouring Eldoret International Airport as well as airstrips in the region to transport the produce.
Makilap added that the partnership will play a pivotal role in transforming livelihoods of the pastoral communities within the region and will make them forego retrogressive cultural practices that include cattle rustling.
Baringo Deputy Governor, Jacob Chepkwony, while lauding the deal, said that the partnership is a boost to farmers whose products are widely known, but earn low returns out of the business, due to exploitation by brokers.
Ibrahim Hasan, leader of the delegation said the Gulf countries will team up with County Government and other stakeholders in establishing more feedlots in the area so that they can enhance the quality of the meat for exportation.
Hasan expressed optimism that the region will produce large volumes of livestock products for the ready market and enhance trade link between people of the trading partners.
By Benson Kelio and Christopher Kiprop