Nakuru county steps up fight against RVF, anthrax
BY GEORGE MURAGE
Nakuru county plans to vaccinate livestock against Rift Valley Fever and anthrax ahead of the El Nino rains.
The Nakuru county director of veterinary services Dr Enos Amuyunzu said the county is on high alert over Rift Valley fever which is spread by mosquitoes during rainy seasons and can be transmitted to human beings.
Speaking in Naivasha, Amuyunzu said the county has 430,000 herds of cattle and 500,000 sheep and goats, according to the 2009 livestock census. “Based on this figures, we want to at least vaccinate 80 per cent of the livestock against Rift Valley fever which his highly contagious,” he said.
Amuyunzu said the department had already vaccinated livestock in Mai Mahiu, Kongoni and Central divisions in Naivasha against anthrax.
Tharaka Nithi to benefit from irrigation projects
BY DENNIS DIBONDO
Water and irrigation cabinet secretary Eugene Wamalwa has said the national government will build dams and initiate irrigation projects in Tharaka Nithi county.
“The ultimate and long term solution is to build a mega dam in Maara constituency to end water shortage in the county and that it where our focus is as government,” Wamalwa said.
He said through irrigation, the country would be able to produce enough food throughout the year.
Speaking at Chuka University during the launch of the Tharaka Nithi agribusiness summit, Wamalwa said for the country to attain the strategic development goals, irrigation must be effectively to realise national food security.
“My ministry will upgrade Kenya Water Training Institute to train more students on irrigation related courses,” he said.
West Pokot farmers decry poor market for wool
BY MARRYANN CHAI
Sheep farmers in Kapsait area, Pokot South sub county, are concerned about low wool prices.
The farmers said they are incurring huge losses by selling their produce to middle men who exploit them. Led by Kapsait Cooperatives chairperson Rafael Mashol, the farmers said prices of wool in the region had drastically dropped since there was no ready available market in the region. “We are forced to sell our produce to middlemen at a throw-away price since they are forced to travel to major towns in the country where they sell later at higher price,” he said.
Mashol said other counties like Elgeyo Marakwet helps farmers in looking for markets by buying the produce from farmers and selling it at a higher price.
He said at the moment a kilogram of wool is selling for between Sh200 and Sh220. “Some farmers have abandoned sheep farming and are now venturing into fruit and dairy farming.”
Elgeyo Marakwet county to revive pyrethrum farming
BY SHARON CHEPCHIRCHIR
Farmers in Elgeyo Marakwet county have been told to embrace pyrethrum farming as it now fetches good money.
Initially farmers had stopped planting the crop because they encountered huge loses due to unreasonable prices in the market.
According to the Keiyo North Farmers Association chairman David Kiberenge, farmers can now venture into pyrethrum farming as the county government has promised to give them seeds.