Residents of Lari Sub-County in Kiambu County have appealed to the government to resume cattle re-stocking programme in order to uplift the lives of the farmers in the region.
Joseph Irungu who also doubles up as a headman in Lari ward told KNA in an interview on Saturday that restocking of livestock was a good initiative as it would help villagers recover the animals they lost to tick-borne diseases some years back.
He noted that small-scale farmers were losing animals to diseases due to lack of information on proper and safe animal husbandry practices and that it could be addressed by equipping them through various programmes by the Ministry of Livestock’s agricultural department.
The headman who is also a farmer said there was need for government to sensitize villagers on how best to manage livestock which was their main source of income as most relied on it to pay school fees for their children and also attend to their other family obligations.
“Most farmers use traditional methods of livestock keeping, and thus are prone to low quality produce and even loss of livestock when they are attacked by diseases,” Irungu said.
He further revealed to KNA that he was a beneficiary of the cattle restocking programme during Moi’s era but he lost all three animals he had been given due to tick-borne diseases, saying he was not well equipped to deal with the situation when diseases strike.
“The Government should also consider training the villagers on basic animal husbandry to help them manage their livestock in the event of a cattle disease outbreak,” he added.
The Kinale Ward MCA, Dominic Mbugua said that during the economic planning, local governments should consider implementing projects like cattle re-stocking to improve residents’ livelihoods.
The Lari sub-County is endowed with predominantly cold weather which is conducive for livestock farming and large scale agriculture, thus contributing immensely to food security of the Nation.
According to a spot-check by KNA, the Waruhiu Agricultural Training Centre situated in Githunguri sub-county of Kiambu County is ideal for the training that farmers required.
The centre charges a small fee for the training which is affordable as it caters for the visiting farmer’s maintenance during training.
Farmers from the 47 counties have been flocking to the centre for bench marking sessions and trainings while others come from as far as Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda to learn advanced methods of farming
By Lydia Shiloya/Warren Kagombe