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Pastoralists to benefit with livestock breed improvement training

More than 1,000 pastoralists in Marsabit County are set to benefit with livestock breed improvement, fodder production and marketing skills training courtesy of Ewaso Ng’iro North Development Authority.

The training has been necessitated following massive livestock fatalities due to perennial drought in Arid and Semi-Arid areas (ASALs) in the past five years.

The move is aimed to cushion the pastoralists from livestock death due to lack of feed, poor cattle breeds and market which had resulted in huge losses in the livestock sector.

Ewaso Ngiro North Development Authority (ENNDA) Managing Director Eng. Ali Hassan speaking in Marsabit during the signing of the feedlot project Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) revealed that the targeted community members were expected to replicate the skills to rest of the livestock keepers in the county.

“As they learn and acquire the concept of breed improvement, this will attract other farmers to improve their livestock. This is a dream program and an eye opener in ASAL areas,” said Eng. Hassan.

He pointed out that, since ENNDA was implementing Sh.2.7 billion feedlot projects in a 12,000 acres of land in Marsabit, livestock keepers would harvest rain waters to grow fodder within the region for their livestock.

“We will need to have 5,000 tonnes of fodder harvested within a season to be stored as hay and also to be used as green feed. This will be communally owned and many farmers will have their centres too,” he revealed.

Additionally, Hassan said that with the feedlot project, they would stock more than 2,000 cattle.

Marsabit governor Ali Mohammed lauded the breed improvement initiative noting that the move would benefit residents by fetching fortunes in the market.

“Improvement of our breeds is very encouraging, I have seen some breeds weighing as much as 600 kilograms and we need ours to exceed that. This is a great opportunity,” said the governor.

He added that Marsabit lost more than 70 percent of their livestock during the recurrent drought season and accumulating back their possessions through livestock breed improvement and feedlot project was a game changer for residents.

By Muturi Mwangi

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