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Government to support pastoralists

The Government is keenly following up on the de-risking, inclusion, and value enhancement of the pastoralists’ economies project which is aimed at uplifting farmers’ welfare in 21 ASAL counties.

This will done  by cushioning the economies from drought risk, increasing financial inclusion of the pastoralists and connecting them to market.

According to the Government Spokesperson Dr Isaac Mwaura, the benefiting Counties include; Turkana, Marsabit, Isiolo, Laikipia, Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Tana River, Taita Taveta, Kilifi, Kwale, Lamu, Meru (Meru North sub-county), Tharaka Nithi, Samburu, Baringo, West Pokot, Narok, Kajiado, Makueni and Kitui.

Speaking during a press briefing at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi, he added that the project, which was effected in October 2022 and runs through to 2027, also seeks to facilitate livestock trade across the Horn of Africa (HOA) countries and to upgrade livestock value chains by mobilizing private investments.

“It has financial support from the World Bank with Kenya being supported by a credit of USD 140 million (Sh. 16.082 Billion),” he declared.

He highlighted that the project component entails pasture and fodder production and conservation, Livestock breeding covering, Dorper, Sahiwal, Boran, and Galla goats among others.

Other components include Livestock finishing through the institution of feedlots and fattening; establishment of abattoirs/slaughterhouses for facilitation of meat production and processing for both local and international markets.

Leather tannery and processing and Value addition on the livestock and its products including livestock feed processing are other components.

So far, Dr. Mwaura revealed that the project has attained numerous milestones in the target Counties for instance, the number of pastoralists and their dependents covered by the financial services stands at 696,642, and a total of Sh. 1,620,293,803 has been paid out as insurance claims payouts to the beneficiaries.

He added that the project has also seen 107,492 individual pastoralists and 411,123 of their tropical livestock insured, noting that an amount of Sh.6,000 per beneficiary has been paid as an enrolment saving bonus bringing the total bonus payout to Sh. 492,090,000.

“The project has also sought to empower the female gender as the percentage of women supported and who own bank accounts increased from baseline of 33 percent to 108 percent,” he remarked.

The Government Spokesperson observed that the project has also created several jobs as proven by the 163,578 digital accounts in use under the project and the inclusion of 26 formal financial sector companies to provide services to the pastoralists.

This, he maintained, is in keeping with the Government’s commitment to deploy modern agricultural risk management instruments that ensure farming is profitable with predictable incomes just as it was in the 1970s when scheduled crops were catered for under the then Guaranteed Minimum Returns (GMR) Scheme.

By Michael Omondi

 

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