Covid-19 health protocols of social distance, reduced travel, avoidance of crowds and lockdown of some counties is wreaking havoc to livestock traders in West Pokot County.
The prices of goats, cattle and sheep have been plummeting since Covid-19 was reported in the country with livestock farmers and traders in the county operating at minimal profits.
According to traders at Kishaunet Livestock Auction Centre in West Pokot County interviewed by KNA, the prices of cattle have dropped to an average of between Sh30, 000 and Sh15, 000 from Sh40,000 and Sh25,000 whereas goats and sheep’s prices have nosedived to Sh6, 000 and Sh3, 000 from between Sh8,000 and Sh6,000 respectively.
They attributed the fall in prices to the high supply of livestock by farmers to needy consumers who are also struggling with the measures put in place to curb Covid-19 and were thus utilizing the little money they earn on essential basic needs.
Mr Rodgers Kamatira, a Livestock Trader at the centre said lack of demand due to prevailing low consumption of meat in urban areas has affected his daily sales since the pandemic struck.
“I used to have many urban retailers who owned butcheries and used to come and buy livestock for slaughter purposes but since the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country, this has not been so owing to the movement restriction from counties including Nairobi,” Kamatira narrated.
He singled out a livestock trader from Nairobi who used to boost his business by buying his livestock for slaughter but has now ceased.
His sentiment were echoed by another trader Mark Lodou who noted “I used to make huge profits but the outbreak of Covid 19 affected me so much. Nowadays I get less profit from the business.”
By Anthony Melly