Livestock traders in Kimana, Kajiado South, have benefitted from a new ultra-modern Sh23 million livestock sale yard.
The sale yard, constructed by the World Bank through the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP), sits on a 1.8-hectare piece of land and can hold over 1000 cattle, 1500 goats and sheep and 200 donkeys.
The facility has 7 sales yard holding paddocks, 2 loading ramps, water troughs, exchange sheds, hay barns, market sheds, toilets and an office block.
The new sale yard has well partitioned steel booths that hold various animals on sale giving buyers ample opportunity to comfortably walk around the market, assessing animals and deciding on the ones to purchase.
According to KCSAP officer James Singi, the sale yard project will improve the economic lifestyle of the residents as it is geared towards addressing the challenges of inadequate market access and value addition in livestock production.
Singi noted that sellers will now have more time to engage potential buyers instead of spending most of their time struggling to prevent animals on sale from wandering away, as is usually the case in open markets.
“The sale yard can hold many animals at a go as it is well partitioned and enclosed. Previously, all animals were huddled together in an open field making it hard for traders. The new market has different sections for cattle, sheep, goats and donkeys,” he said.
He added that the sales yard will boost the economic status of the pastoralists thus improving livelihoods and ensuring food security in the country.
KCSAP County Project Coordinator Daniel Nyagaka, echoed Singi’s sentiments adding that the new improved market will ensure increased productivity and enhance resilience for the livestock farmers.
Nyagaka said the improved customer experience will attract many buyers, bringing in more money for the traders thus improving their economic status.
He added that a hay storage area located in the market will ensure the pastoralists have access to pasture for their livestock especially during the drought season.
Kimana Livestock Market Association chairman Banati ole Keneti, welcomed the construction of the new sale yard saying that the livestock traders could now conduct their trade in an organized environment.
He said the partitions will help sellers and buyers negotiate for better prices without any disruptions of straying animals as witnessed in the previous open field market.
“We are grateful that we can now sell and buy animals in an organized manner as they are all enclosed, before this sales yard was constructed, we used to sell our livestock in an open area and this made controlling the market difficult,” said the Chairman.
Livestock traders at the new market expressed their optimism at having increased income due to the influx of buyers.
The pastoralists said the on-going drought had affected them adversely and they have had to sell their livestock at throw away prices but they were now hopeful with the opening of the new sale yard.
Joseph Saningo, a livestock buyer from Rombo, said he is now able to walk from one paddock to another and select the animals he wants to purchase easily as the market is more organized and buyer friendly.
Kajiado Governor Joseph Lenku, who commissioned the sale yard, underscored the importance of the market in promoting the livelihoods of the pastoralists.
Lenku said the new sale yard will improve the volumes of livestock traded and address the challenges of market accessibility thus ensuring traders reap maximum benefit.
“The new sales yard is aimed at addressing the challenge of inadequate and poor livestock marketing infrastructure for pastoralists. The market has already attracted many buyers and this will ensure that livestock fetch better prices than before,” the Governor added.
By Rop Janet