Livestock keepers in Isiolo are yet to be paid Sh44 million for the off-take program two years after it started.
The farmers claimed that in 2018, Deputy President William Ruto promised they would get the payment but this has not happened.
In 2017, the the Kenya Meat Commission launched the livestock off-take programme in arid and semi -arid counties due to drought. Pastoral communities in 25 drought-hit counties lost livestock.
The farmers had planned to demonstrate on Saturday when Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri visited to launch a programme on the control and eradication of goat and sheep disease.
Kiunjuri assured them that they would be paid through the supplementary budget. He did not say when but said he would prioritise payment.
The CS said sheep and goats are popular due to their low purchase price and production cost.
“But over the years, the animals have been hurt by frequent droughts and disease, undermining food and nutrition security especially in ASAL areas,” the CS said.
One of the diseases, he said, is the goat plague or sotoka ya mbuzi na kondoo and is a highly contagious trans-boundary viral disease.
Kiunjuri said in 2008, the disease cost 1.2 million sheep and goats valued at Sh2.4 billion. “This is enough money to irrigate Isiolo. The government will spend Sh200 million to eradicate the disease by 2027.”
Kiunjuri also said the government plans to eradicate rabies by 2030. Vaccination will be carried out in Marsabit, Isiolo, Laikipia, Samburu and Turkana counties.
ASAL COUNTIES INCREASE
The programme is being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, with help of the Food and Agriculture Organization, European Union and the International Livestock Research Institute.
In 2017, Kajiado farmers sold emaciated cattle for as little as Sh500 in the Kenya Meat Commisson’ss livestock off-take programme.
Kenya has 29 ASAL counties, up from 23. They receive aid to help them adapt to climate change, undertake development and diversity from livestock raising.