Making Livestock Production Profitable in Kenya’s Arid and Semi-Arid Lands
Following the enactment of the 2010 Constitution and the introduction of a devolved system of governance, Kenya’s counties have become centers for growth. One resulting opportunity is the development of the livestock sector, especially in those counties that fall in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) counties. The livestock sector contributes 10 percent of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Despite its huge potential, the sector faces challenges such as low investment by national and county governments and inadequate policies to provide an integrated approach to guide the development of the sector.
SUNY/CID’s AHADI project, USAID’s flagship governance activity, is partnering with Africa Lead, to provide support to county institutions active in the livestock sub-sector. This technical assistance enables county officials to hold policy dialogues within and across counties in order to establish the robust and comprehensive governance framework necessary to strengthen livestock production and productivity in the ASAL counties.
With AHADI support, the Council of Governors recently held the first such dialogue, bringing together County Executives in charge of livestock production, officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries as well as stakeholders in the livestock sector such as United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
"The current situation in the livestock sector is untenable" Governor, Ali Roba of Mandera County
The Mandera County Governor, Ali Roba, commented, "the current situation is untenable. In case of a disease outbreak, it takes about three weeks before any meaningful intervention as the nearest veterinary laboratory is located 1200 Km away from Mandera County."
During the meeting, participants identified gaps in both the current policy framework and in institutional capacity, making recommendations on how to address these challenges. Participants then designed and adopted a roadmap to enable the nine counties to launch a livestock rejuvenation program that will include the development of water provision points, opening of markets, and long term drought mitigation mechanisms. This roadmap is a critical next step in the development of functional inter-county livestock management policies.
Posted June 21, 2016