The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development is conducting public participation for the proposed Animal Production Professionals and Technicians Bill 2023 which is set to offer an enabling environment for the development and regulation of the livestock industry.
To effectively address the modern challenges bedeviling the sector and harmonise its operations, the State Department for Livestock in collaboration with Agriculture stakeholders developed the draft bill.
The document is set to guide the training, registration, and licensing of animal production professionals and technicians as well as regulate the standards and practices of the industry players.
State Department for Livestock Development Principal Secretary, Harry Kimtai says the animal sector is a key pillar in the country’s economy and a crucial driver in realising food security.
“The subsector supplies meat, milk, dairy, and other livestock products to the domestic market and accounts for about 12 percent of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” Kimtai stated.
Speaking during the official opening of the open public forum in Kisumu County on Monday, the PS described the new bill as a game changer adding that it will be instrumental in establishing and strengthening linkages between relevant institutions towards actualising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He noted that the industry is dogged with a myriad challenges including lack of animal welfare, uncontrolled use of antibiotics and increased degradation of the ecosystem.
“These challenges require concerted efforts and effective regulation guided by responsive policies which lead to improvement and enforcement of regulations regarding the livestock inputs,” he said.
He noted that the new bill is geared towards restoring sanity to the field of animal production and offering professional guidance in areas relating to animal production, curriculum development, and overseeing continuous professional development in the subsector.
Animal production, he added, has in the recent past registered a surge in the demand for livestock products compared to the supply, leading to a ballooning gap between the supply and demand for these products.
“There is a need to ensure that animal production in Kenya is seen as a top-level profession where both public and private stakeholders understand the essential roles played by the designated animal production professionals and technicians,” Mr Kimtai observed.
The PS urged the public to support the draft document ahead of its transmission to the National Parliament for validation.
Also attending the citizen engagement forum were, Dr Christopher Wanga, Director of Livestock Policy Research and Regulation, Bishar Elmi, Director of Livestock Production, and Samuel Mbuku, Chairman Animal Production Society of Kenya among others.
By Robert Ojwang’ and Chris Mahandara