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Pastoralists get KES.29 million food project

15 April 2016, 20:02

Nairobi - Pastoralists living at Ngw’esi Group Ranch in Laikipia North sub-county have a reason to smile, after the National Drought Management Authority and the Laikipia County Government launched a commercial livestock and fodder development program.

The KES.29.6 million project will focus on improving food security through introduction of commercial ranching business practices.

The project will also concentrate on fodder and range management to cushion pastoralists from losing their livestock during droughts.

NDMA Chief Executive Officer James Oduor said the project is expected to improve the community’s drought preparedness by developing mechanisms for implementation of accelerated commercial destocking that would ensure better market outlets during drought crisis to avert livestock mortality.

Speaking in Nanyuki town, the CEO, Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu and Ngw’esi Group Ranch chairman Maisulia ole Kiyaa signed a memorandum of understanding that will see the flagging off of the project.

Oduor said that they will be working with the Il Ngw’esi conservancy community to increase the income which they receive from livestock.

This will be done by improving productivity and by increasing the efficiency and fairness of the livestock marketing system.

The program is funded through the European Union (EU), and it is a partnership between NDMA, Laikipia County government and the community.

Oduor noted that the program will also enhance linkage to livestock meat processors and organize the market to cushion pastoralists against exploitation by middlemen.

It is notable that during droughts, most pastoralists sell out their livestock haphazardly to brokers due to the fear of losing their stock.

Of the total amount, NDMA will contribute KES.21.6 million support from the EU’s ASAL Drought Contingency Fund (ASAL-DCF), while the county government will raise KES.10.5 million. Ngw’esi community will raise KES.4.1 million.

In the program, the community has set aside 500 acres of land at Olmarorori confining area, 80 acres at Nadungoru and 68 acres at Ethi for pasture production.

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