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The World Bank has granted Ksh6.5 billion to Kenyan Government to mitigate livestock farmers against losses occurred during dry seasons. Agriculture and livestock principal secretary Fred Segor said that the money will go towards the implementation of Regional Pastoral Livelihoods Resilience Project (RPLRP) which aims at ending drought, emergency and livestock diseases.
This comes barely a month after Farm Concern International (FCI), with support from Tear Fund UK launched Commercialization and Market Linkages for Agro-Pastoralists project, (CoMAP), in Marsabit Sub-County. The project aims to increase households’ income through integrated agro-pastoralist Commercialization, Value Chain Efficiency and Market Development in Marsabit Sub-County.
The project is informed by a Participatory Market Assessment for Marsabit County completed in June 2013 conducted by FCI. The assessment showed that there were inadequate market linkages within the livestock and livestock product value chains. This aggravates the uncertainty of the livestock business in Marsabit County.
FCI is an Africa-wide Market Development Agency with over ten years’ experience and focuses to commercialize the smallholder farmers and agro-pastoral communities. FCI is conscious of the fact that no markets are primarily designed for small holder farmers, yet the smallholder farmers are expected to competitively meet requirements set by market demand.
CoMAP Project envisions building the livelihoods resilience among 1,900 agro pastoralist households, improving their entrepreneurship capacity through enhanced business skills and market competitiveness and increasing agro-pastoralists income levels by streamlining value chain efficiency through formation of strategic business partnerships and investment networks.
The value chains the project targets to commercialize are green grams, goats and sheep in Dirib Gombo, Dakabaricha, Sangante, Songakey and camel milk in Shura and Bubisa.
In addition, FCI in partnership with World Vision Kenya successfully managed to implement Garba Tula Pastoralist Livelihoods Project (GAPLIP) which turned agro-pastoralists into millionaires through livestock commercialization and market linkages in Isiolo County. This revolution took place in an area previously shunned by buyers due to rampant insecurity.
FCI through its innovative business models and community mobilization through the market survey identified potential and viable livestock and related products’ value chains. As a result, village business forums were held with the pastoralists’ community who met the main livestock wholesale buyers from the region and beyond. Business relationships were developed and deals sealed that translated into high volumes of livestock trade, with better prices amounting to cumulative sales worth USD 97,529,042 in 18 months.
The RPLR Project will be implemented in five years and will cover 14 counties in arid and semi-arid areas (ASAL). “We want to manage and control livestock diseases,” said professor Segor when he toured Baringo, one of the regions impaired by drought.
Some of the money will be used to buy emaciated livestock while the rest will go towards cultivating pasture and creating hay stores in arid and semi-arid areas. Baringo, Turkana, West Pokot, Lamu, Wajir, Kajiado, Samburu and Narok are some of the counties to benefit from the programme.
Professor Segor promised the residents that the government has put in place measures to combat effect of the drought. These include building pan dams and boreholes in conjunction with county governments.
More than 1.6 million people in arid and semi-arid parts of Kenya are grappling with an acute food shortage due to erratic rainfall patterns last season (Daily Nation, March 2, 2015).
FCI VISION :Commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond.