• Projections show the livestock sector will be more productive and will generate business opportunities.
• Prices of beef, milk, and chicken to come down due to growth of the sector.
Demand for dairy and poultry products will rise by 90 percent in 30 years as the population increases, a report has shown.
The report on the future of livestock in Kenya released in Nairobi yesterday shows Kenyans are increasingly consuming livestock products.
It was complied by the Food and Agriculture Organization and shows Kenya's population will double to 96 million by 2050.
Nearly half of these people will be living in urban areas.
“As a consequence, the demand for animal sources [of] food will exponentially increase. To respond to the demand, the livestock sector will deeply transform,” the report reads.
Livestock PS Harry Kimtai, who launched the report, said urbanisation, innovations, climate change and migration will transform society in unpredictable ways.
Stephen Gikonyo from FAO said the population of cattle and chicken will increase by 94 and 375 percent respectively between 2015 and 2050.
Currently, the country has 18.8 million cattle (14.3 million beef cattle and 4.5 million dairy cows), 26.7 million goats and 18.9 million sheep.
There are 3.2 million camels, 44.6 million poultry, 1.9 million donkeys and 500,000 pigs.
The report pointed out that cattle and poultry contribute about 70 percent of the total animal production output, estimated at Sh167.2 trillion in 2016.
“By 2050, the livestock sector will supply an additional 7.8 million tonnes of milk, beef and chicken meat to the population," Gikonyo said. "The expected growth in demand for beef, milk and poultry meat will provide major business opportunities for cattle and poultry farmers."
Meanwhile, the government has bought four mobile liquid nitrogen tankers for Sh40 million to provide farmers with cheap quality artificial insemination services.
PS Kimtai said the mobile tankers will help bring the services closer to farmers at an affordable cost.
The tankers are from France and Italy and will arrive in a month.
Each of the tankers has a capacity of 2,000 litres of liquid nitrogen, which can hold 16,000 doses of semen each.
Currently, there are three liquid nitrogen and semen production centres: In Kirinyaga, Sotik and Kabete.
Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki said farmers are still grappling with accessing insemination services.
He said the government needs to address the issue of semen prices so farmers can improve livestock production.
“Giving subsidies to farmers is not the option. What we need is the AI services brought closer to the farmers,” said Njuki, who is also the chairman of the CoG Agriculture Committee.
The recommended price to farmers for a straw of AI services is Sh750 but in many places they are charged Sh1,000 to Sh1,500.
“But we want to bring down the prices down to below Sh750 to the farmers,” PS Kimtai said.
(Edited by N. Mbugua)