Weight to decide price of Marsabit livestock for sale

Owners lost money as middlemen decided by looking at livestock.

In Summary

by looking at liv• Pastoralists praise Livestock to Market by the Northern Rangelands Trust Trading saying there is a difference in price. 

• Programme also remits some funds from both the buyer and the seller, which are channelled towards social responsibilities such as payment of bursaries. 

Pastoralists herd their animals.
USE OF WEIGHING SCALE: Pastoralists herd their animals.

Livestock keepers in Merille, Marsabit county, will weigh their animals to determine the price — no more eye-balling by brokers.

Farmers will maximise on profits by being paid for real weight.

This benefit is due to a programme by the Northern Rangelands Trust Trading titled ‘Livestock to Market’.

The programme operates in counties with conservancies supported by the Northern Rangelands Trust such as Isiolo, Laikipia, Marsabit, Samburu and Baringo. 

Livestock owners have been using middlemen who determine prices by just looking at the animals, lowering money for herders and maximising brokers' profits.

Speaking at the Merille Livestock Market, livestock sellers said there was a huge difference in earnings when they sell animals according to weight as opposed to when brokers determined prices through eye assessment.

They praised the NRTT for coming up with the programme, especially as parents are selling their animals to raise school fees.

Some of the money from buyers and sellers is used for conservation and social responsibility projects.

Elder and livestock owner Leporouwa Tapakeiu said the pastoralist community has learnt the importance of reducing their herds by selling some animals and banking the proceeds. This money can be used to educate their children or channelled into development projects. 

Melako Community Conservancy chairman Otereka Lenaruke said the programme also remits some funds from both the buyer and the seller to benefit the community, such as payment of bursaries.

Northern Rangelands Trust Trading CEO Vishal Shah said Livestock to Market provides a route to markets in Nairobi for pastoralists from remote areas of Northern Kenya. 

“Over five years, the organisation has bought 10,000 animals from Northern Kenya, benefitting over 40,000 people and injecting more than Sh350 million into the local economy through households,” he said.  

Local community conservancies have also benefitted with more than Sh20 million used for conservation.

Edited by R.Wamochie 

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