The International Fund for Agricultural Development has approved Sh5.53bn loan for actualization of Kenya’s Livestock Commercialization Project [KeLCoP] that seeks to contribute to government agricultural agenda of attaining food and nutrition security.
The project funded by the government in collaboration with other development partners at a total cost of Sh9.46bn will be implemented over a six-year period [2021 -2027] in 10 selected counties.
The project will benefit Arid and Semi-Arid counties of Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, Marsabit and Samburu and other areas in Busia, Bungoma, Kakamega, Siaya, Nakuru and Trans Nzoia counties.
Speaking during its launch in Naivasha, IFAD Country Director Mariatu Kamara said the project would help Kenya reduce meat supply deficit of 300,000 metric tons by unlocking the livestock sector full potential.
Kamara said the organization investment in livestock development would directly contribute to increased income, job creation, sustainable livelihoods, food and nutrition security for livestock producing households and communities.
She said that emphasis on the Kenya’s livestock sector is paramount as it contributes 42 percent to the agricultural GDP and 12 percent to national GDP while accounting 30 percent of the total marketed agricultural products.
The director said the KeLCoP project is expected to benefit 495,000 people in 110,000 households in the participating counties with a beneficiary target of 54 percent being women and 30 percent youths.
She added that the project would focus on climate smart production enhancement for small livestock and support livestock market development.
This she said, will help address low productivity in the livestock sub –sector occasioned by increasing severity and frequency of dry spells, heat waves and flooding due to climate change.
In addition, Kamara said KeLCoP would also adopt a nutrition-sensitive approach to help mainstream nutrition in its various investments from policy to household level.
Kamara said the interventions would be achieved through three targeted value chains including small ruminants [sheep, goats], local improved breed poultry and bee keeping.
She said the three chains have increased potential of providing productive employment and food security opportunities for women, youth and marginalized population.
The director said that IFAD believes that helping farmers to increase productivity of livestock helps to improve rural livelihoods and food security as well as enhancing resilience to climate change.
“IFAD’s investment in this project demonstrates our commitment in supporting the Government of Kenya achieve its development agenda,” Kamara said.
IFAD has also funded the Upper Tana Natural Resource Management project, Kenya Cereal Enhancement Programme, Climate Resilient Agricultural Livelihoods and the Aquaculture Business Development Programme that are in line with government poverty reduction, combating climate change and achieving food and nutrition security as outlined in the Big 4 Agendas.
By Erastus Gichohi and Calvin Osiemo