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Donkey farmers graduate

23 April 2013, 17:56 Kelvin Mureithi

Seventeen farmers from Meru and Kirinyaga Counties graduated as donkey experts after undergoing a two weeks training on hoof care and trimming, sponsored by a donkeys welfare organization Kendat.

The farmers were also supplied with full kits for conducting the routine health care services within their region in a move to improve the performance of donkeys.

Speaking at the function held in Kinotu stadium, Kendat Manager Heston Murithi said the decade-old Heshimu Punda project had attracted many farmers into donkey keeping for transportation purposes.

He urged donkey farmers to form groups that would enable them get maximum support from government and non-governmental organizations to accrue the economic benefits of donkey keeping.

He said the training was aimed at empowering farmers to be able to handle the challenges of donkey keeping.

He however challenged the farmers to consider ploughing back the gains to management of the donkeys for future sustainability of the industry.

“The main threat to the donkeys is injuries resulting from poor handling and abandonment,” said the Kendat manager.

A donkey farmers Association Chairman from Mwea, Francis Muriuki, said he earned over KES 2 000 monthly from his donkeys.

He also noted that the business had created employment for young people who now work as carters thus reducing idleness among other vices.

Former Meru Mayor John Murithi called on donkey owners to design lighter carts that will improve the welfare of the donkeys.

Murithi said the county government should construct a resting parlour for the donkeys once they deliver goods within Meru Town.

He noted that about 80 percent of horticultural produce in Meru Town is transported using the donkeys hence the need to device ways for sustenance.

There are 6 Donkey Welfare associations in Meru County, with over 3 000 donkeys engaging in the transportation business.

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