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Farmers laud gov’t directives on animal feed prices

Livestock farmers in Nyahururu Sub County in Laikipia County have expressed their delight after President Uhuru Kenyatta gave a directive on the reduction of the prices of animal feeds.

During Mashujaa day celebrations at Wang’uru Stadium in Kirinyaga County, the President gave a directive to the Cabinet Secretaries for Agriculture and National Treasury to issue a framework within seven days that would facilitate the reduction of the cost of animal feeds.

Fredrick Maina, a livestock farmer, said that they have been going through a hard time trying to feed their animals due to the high prices of animal feeds.

“We thank our President Uhuru Kenyatta for considering the livestock farmers in the issue of animal feeds. We have been going through a hard time feeding our cattle due to the high prices of animal feeds,” said Maina.

Another farmer, Jane Wangari, said that they would highly benefit from the reduction of the prices of animal feeds since it would save them money from the sale of animal products like milk and enable them to financially support their families and expand on their farming.

“We feel relieved from the burden of high prices of animal feeds. After the reduction, we are going to highly benefit from the sale of milk and save us enough money to take care of our families and expand our livestock farming,” said Wangari.

According to James Chege, an animal feeds’ dealer in Nyahururu town, livestock farmers have forsaken their stores due to high prices of animal feeds and that they have incurred a lot of losses but they expect a positive change after the reduction of the prices.

“For a long time, I have experienced a drop on the profits I get from selling animal feeds because farmers have not been buying animal feeds frequently due to high prices. I expect a positive change on farmers’ purchases after the reduction of the prices,” said Chege.

According to a report by Kenya Agribusiness and Agroindustry Alliance, livestock is one of Kenya’s most important agricultural value chains with over 17 million cattle. In addition, 80% of cattle are produced in arid and semi-arid regions.

Laikipia Statistical Abstract 2020 indicates that by the end of 2019, the county had 221,760 beef cattle. This was an increase from 2017 when the county had 201,200 beef cattle.

Laikipia County Government has been fast-tracking initiatives that would enable increased livestock production while at the same time modernizing livestock markets across the county. These are Olmoran, Muwarak and Kimanju.

By Cornelius Mumo

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