The Lamu County government has unveiled a Sh.18.2 million livestock market in Nagele that is expected to improve the county’s revenue stream by at least Sh.20 million annually through livestock trading revenue collection from the new market.
The launch of the market is also a welcome relief for livestock traders in Lamu, who in the past have had to walk their animals to Garsen Township in Tana River County for selling.
The pastoralists and traders have in the past been forced to go to Garsen Township which is about 100 kilometers away, in order to access a livestock market to buy and sell their animals.
The Nagele Livestock market which is a project carried out under the auspices of the Regional Pastoral Livelihoods Resilience Project and the Lamu County Government is also expected to foster the growth of the nearby Witu Township and the Nagele area in general.
Speaking to KNA today during the launch, the Lamu County Livestock Chief Officer, Dr. Gichohi Mathenge, stated that the market will improve the livestock trade sector in Lamu, as buyers and sellers will now have a closer access to a ready market in the County.
“The market is an initiative that has been in the County Government’s agenda for a while and this unveiling will set the pace for the sector’s growth immensely,” Dr. Mathenge added.
He also said that the county had been losing revenue from livestock to Tana River which has a thriving market in Garsen and added that the Nagele Market will further enhance the creation of more indirect jobs aside from the revenue officers who are likely to be hired once the market takes off.
The Nagele Market will have its market days every Thursday, with the county expecting to collect revenue of Sh. 50 per head of cattle sold and bought respectively.
“The market day will avail ready markets due to the high demand of livestock products in Lamu and thus hundreds of herders and traders will benefit from this market which we expect to significantly contribute to the county’s revenue collection stream,” the Chief Officer added
The County will also be charging Sh. 50 for the use of its loading ramp per cattle.
The County Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries, Peter Arucho, who also spoke to KNA during the launch added that the project will be a game changer for the county’s livestock sector.
“Nagele will evolve to be the hub of the county’s livestock sector, just as Garsen is to Tana River County,” Arucho said, adding that the livestock sector has the potential to uplift its pastoralist communities when managed well.
The Agricultural Finance Corporation County Branch (AFC) Manager, John Ochanda, who also spoke on the side-lines stated that the initiative will enhance the livestock sector within the county.
He urged livestock farmers and traders to further enhance their livelihoods by accessing credit from institutions such as AFC which was ready to assist farmers improve their stock.
The Lamu County Chief of Staff, Mohammed Galgalo, commended the initiative stating that it will aid the county meet the new target set by the National Government that the county needs to collect Sh. 80 million in the 2019/2020 financial year.
Lamu County in 2018/2019 was able to reach a revenue target set by Treasury of Sh.75 million but it has been raised to Sh.80 million this year.
“Going forward, the County Government will now benefit from livestock trading, from which we have been losing revenue with most pastoralists and traders going as far as Garsen in Tana River to access the market there because we had no market here,” Galgalo said.
He noted that despite fishing being the mainstay of Lamu’s economy, the livestock sector had immense potential, saying that pastoralists from Garissa, Wajir and Tana River usually move as far as Lamu during the drought season for access to pasture and water.
By Amenya Ochieng