Approximately 10,000 households from four wards in Kerio Valley in Elgeyo Marakwet County will benefit from Sh9.6 billion projects to be implemented in 10 counties under the Kenya Livestock Commercialisation project (KelCop).
The Chief Officer (CO) for department of Livestock in Marakwet Dr Benson Kibore said the projects funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the government will go a long way in unlocking the potential of the Kerio Valley.
The CO said Soy, Tambach, Sambirir and Cherangany/Chebororwa wards will benefit from the projects which will target women, youth and people with disabilities with projects in beekeeping, dairy goats and poultry.
Dr Kibore said the projects will go a long way in solving the conflict along the area as they will give residents an alternative means of earning a livelihood instead of relying on cattle which most of the time is the source of conflict.
Noting that goat milk is more nutritious than cow milk, the CO said the availability of goat milk will improve the health of the residents and especially young children in an area with high malnutrition levels.
“Being an arid area, getting feeds for livestock is not easy but with goats, this will be affordable for majority of farmers as 8 goats feed on what one cow feeds in a day,” the CO said.
He added that goat milk is more expensive than cow milk saying one litre can fetch Sh100 and therefore with one goat producing around 8 litres in a day a family is able to meet most of their financial needs.
“We will also be investing in value addition for our milk so that we can sell in institutions like schools and hospitals,” he said.
He added that for beekeeping, afforestation is a must and given the project will be undertaken along the valley and the escarpment, it will assist in mitigating the environmental challenges in the area which most of the time has resulted in deaths and loss of properties as a result of landslides.
By Alice Wanjiru and Amos Kipyego