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Boosting incomes,nutrition through livestock donations

Kwale County government has facilitated grassroots donations of 48 dairy cows and 126 gala goats to small-scale farmers to alleviate hunger and poverty in the communities.

The Kwale County Initiative is a rural-based development programme to steadily reduce poverty among area residents and promote socio-economic development.

By giving the farm animals, the county seeks to provide access to foods like milk and also provide a source of regular income to reduce poverty and further improve nutrition among the beneficiaries.

Area Governor Fatuma Achani, who has launched the donations, says the livestock transfer programme was a life-changing experience that seeks to significantly increase people’s incomes.

Hope and joy abound after farmers in Ukunda, Bongwe/Gombato, Pongwe/Kikoneni, Dzombo, and Kubo South administrative wards received the cows and goats.

During the launch of the livestock donation programme, Achani was accompanied by her deputy, Chirema Kombo, and the County Executive Committee member for agriculture, Roman Shera.

She said the livestock donations can generate food and economic security for families in need, noting that the devolved unit was on a mission to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable manner.

“Through this programme, the county government is dedicated to helping our small-scale farmers improve their breeds for higher milk production, thereby improving their livelihoods,” she said.

She noted that ending poverty begins with agriculture, which is a priority area for the coastal county government.

Achani said the programme to distribute the high-breed cows and goats has the goal of reducing malnutrition and providing additional income for poor rural households.

She says improving the productivity of the agricultural sector is usually seen as one of the most important means of poverty alleviation.

Addressing the beneficiaries, Achani noted that the devolved government was dedicated to improving the livelihoods of the residents through service delivery in agriculture and livestock keeping and rearing.

The county boss asked the recipients to take good care of the animals and further warned against selling or slaughtering them as long as they were productive.

She said the beneficiaries are expected to pass on the first female offspring of the gifted animals to others in their communities, noting that the whole idea is to enhance food security across the board.

“As a devolved government, we will continue to provide livestock and expertise to local farmers so that they can feed their families and end poverty in their communities,” said Achani.

She said fresh milk deliveries are making nutritious food available to families and putting more money into small-scale dairy farmer households.

The latest distribution of cows and goats follows that of high-breed bucks (male goats) and bulls to local livestock keepers to help them improve their animal breeds.

The county government has so far distributed a total of 550 bucks and 30 pedigree bulls that can withstand harsh climatic conditions to farmers across 10 administrative wards.

The move is part of the county government’s agenda to continuously improve the breeding of cattle, goats, and sheep in the region.

Achani says her administration is committed to making sure livestock farming prospers in the area.

The governor noted that the dairy cows and gala goats’ donation was one of the agricultural value chain programmes aimed at increasing livestock productivity and profitability in the region.

By Hussein Abdullahi

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