KENYA – The Kenyan government has pledged to enhance livestock production in the country, with a focus on boosting the meat industry.

Mithika Linturi, the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture and Livestock Development, unveiled a series of measures aimed at revitalizing the livestock sector.

Among the key initiatives are the introduction of sexed semen at subsidized rates to improve breeding, mass vaccination programs to prevent diseases and reduce livestock deaths, the implementation of fattening techniques for cows, and the introduction of livestock nutrition programs for farmers.

Linturi emphasized the need to increase productivity, change animal breeds, and provide support to farmers through knowledge transfer on modern livestock production.

Speaking at the Mutara Agricultural Development Corporation Ranch in Laikipia County, Linturi highlighted the challenges in meeting international demand for beef and hide due to inadequate capacity building for farmers.

The 33,000-acre ranch in Laikipia County is identified as having significant potential for beef and dairy farming, and Linturi assured that it would be developed as one of the centres for livestock production.

Accompanied by Jonathan Mueke, the PS State Department for Livestock, and Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu, Linturi expressed the ministry’s commitment to collaborate with county governments, creating a disease-free livestock environment to facilitate trade and market linkages in pastoralist regions.

“Livestock commercialization is one of the key pillars in the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) in the Kenya Kwanza administration,” Linturi stated.

PS Mueke emphasized the government’s focus on value addition in livestock farming to ensure increased income for farmers. He set a target of doubling leather production to 60% in 2024, up from the recorded 30% in 2023.

Additionally, Mueke announced Kenya’s aim to become self-sufficient in leather production, eliminating the need for imports once the livestock sector is successfully revived.

Linturi urged close collaboration between national and county governments to control animal diseases and promote the breeding of the right livestock varieties.

He acknowledged the contributions of large-scale private investors in the sector and expressed the government’s intent to support them in producing sought-after breeds like the Boran breed on a global scale.

Governor Irungu praised the government’s plan to revive the livestock sector and emphasized the urgency of implementing periodic mass vaccination programs in pastoral communities to facilitate the free movement of livestock while preventing diseases and deaths.

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