The National government has begun supporting counties in North Rift region in the fight against livestock diseases through a massive free vaccination programme that was launched in Baringo by the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (CS), Peter Munya.
Munya expressed the need for livestock vaccination in entire counties in North Rift region, saying there was risk of disease spread through livestock movements that are inevitable as farmers move with their animals from one market place to another.
“It will be a minus work for us to vaccinate livestock here in Baringo and the surrounding counties like Samburu and Nakuru do not vaccinate theirs. Livestock move a lot from one region to another and hence without vaccination diseases will spread easily leading to outbreaks and that will be a loss to farmers who rely on them as their economic life line,” said Munya.
The Agriculture CS urged governors from the North Rift economic block to mobilize their farmers so as to take advantage of the free vaccination programme facilitated by the national government through Regional Pastoral Livelihood Resilience Project (RPLRP) saying none of them should give excuses in case of any disease outbreak.
“Let’s not hear excuses from you governors because we are giving you drugs and also money for running the vaccination exercise through the resilience project,” said CS Munya who addressed the public on Saturday at Emining livestock yard in Baringo county.
The agriculture CS stated that his main agenda of visiting Baringo county was to launch the free vaccination exercise covering 14 counties in which the national government does not expect farmers to complain of diseases after the vaccination; diseases affect quality of animals and lower their market value.
Munya who was accompanied by his Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Linah Jebii Kilimo and the Livestock Principal Secretary, Harry Kimutai, challenged farmers in the region to take advantage of the free vaccination programme and bring out all their livestock including dogs and donkeys to benefit from the exercise.
The National livestock vaccination programme earmarked to cover 14 counties was launched in Kajiado county and Baringo becomes the third to benefit from the exercise seeking also to boost livestock farmers by providing them with feeds and enhance food nutrition security in Kenya.
The Agriculture CS who observed that there was high cases of malnutrition amongst people living in arid and semi-arid parts of North Rift region instructed his CAS Mrs. Kilimo to assist the locals establish kitchen gardening as a way of addressing the nutrition deficiency.
“Madam CAS kindly come back to this region and assist these people especially through women groups to establish the kitchen gardens that will produce vegetables which will provide the required nutritional content to prevent people from getting ailments related to malnutrition,” said CS Munya.
Munya who described promotion of kitchen gardening as a food security measure which is a component of the government’s Big Four Agenda, noted that it will enable families to become self-reliant with various nutritional food because they will be growing crops of different nutritional value.
By Vincent Miningwo/Christopher Kiprop