'NEGLECTED FOR LONG'

Livestock farmers say proposed law will streamline sector

Wajir Agriculture CEC says bill will transform animal husbandry and improve the livelihoods of area residents.

In Summary

• The Kenya Livestock Marketing Council chairman Dubat Amey urged farmers and stakeholders to share their views so that the law can benefit them when effected.

• Ernest Mbogo, the deputy director livestock production said that arid areas host over 70 per cent of the livestock and their importance cannot be downplayed.

Ernest Mbogo, the deputy director for livestock production and senior Michael Gichukia both based in Nairobi addresses the press at Nomads hotel. Mbogo said that arid areas host over 70 percent of the livestock herd and their importance cannot be downplayed.
BILL Ernest Mbogo, the deputy director for livestock production and senior Michael Gichukia both based in Nairobi addresses the press at Nomads hotel. Mbogo said that arid areas host over 70 percent of the livestock herd and their importance cannot be downplayed.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Livestock farmers and stakeholders from the Northeastern region have welcomed a draft law for the sector because it will streamline activities. 

The farmers who met government officials and other stakeholders during a workshop on the draft law in Garissa said the sector had been neglected. 

The participants were drawn from Kitui, Tana River, Mandera, Wajir and Garissa counties. 

The Kenya Livestock Marketing Council chairman Dubat Amey urged farmers and stakeholders to share their views so that the law can benefit them when effected.

“This a golden opportunity for us as livestock farmers. More than 90 per cent of our people depend on livestock and we must enrich the bill in order to improve the prices of our animals and their products,” he said.

The bill seeks to create a Livestock Regulatory Board to oversee matters related to animal feeds, non-sanitary aspects of breeding, quality of inputs and the marketing of products. 

The board will ensure the identification and registration of breeding animals, performance recording, genetic evaluation, sustainable use and conservation of animal genetic resources.

It will further regulate the design and construction of animal structures and the importation of equipment for conformance to set standards. 

 

 Wajir Agriculture executive Ahmed Shariff said the bill will greatly transform the sector and improve the livelihoods of area residents.

“Currently, we are operating on by-laws that are not really binding and lack the required policy framework to support the same,” Sharif said.

The CEC said that other sectors like coffee, pyrethrum and tea that have bills in place have grown over the years.

Ernest Mbogo, the deputy director livestock production said that arid areas host over 70 per cent of the livestock and their importance cannot be downplayed.

 

“Remember each one of us has a responsibility to feed Kenyans with nutritious food. The whole package of food security is in our hands. Things can only be achieved when we have proper bills that regulate the sector,” he said.

Mbogo told livestock owners and stakeholders that the bill is not draconian and colonial as it has been perceived in other areas.

“We are looking for views and inputs that will enrich the draft bill to be presented to Parliament for tabling and discussion. This is not a bill as some have misunderstood it,” Mbogo said.