Grabbers pose threat to livestock research, says Ilri boss

Illegal acquisition of land belonging to International Livestock Research Institute (Ilri) in Kapiti, Machakos County, poses serious challenges for researchers.

Jimmy Smith, Ilri director general, said the activities of numerous groups that had invaded the organisation's land on Mombasa Road had largely interrupted the operations of the global research institution headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. The groups have been subdividing and selling the land to unsuspecting members of the public.

Addressing journalists at Ilri headquarters in Nairobi at the weekend, Smith said the situation had been aggravated by involvement of some politicians. According to the Ilri boss, some of the groups had gone ahead and built structures inside the facility, with the backing of the politicians.

“Over the past few months, illegal attempts to grab the land have escalated at Kapiti research station. Cartels have started trespassing and building structures there. No land at Kapiti is for sale,” warned Smith.

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The entire parcel of land measures 32,000 acres.

According to Smith, the presence of the illegal occupants had affected livestock research at the facility.

“The ongoing lawlessness risks disrupting or stopping important long-term livestock research, thereby threatening the future of hundreds of millions of livestock producers across Kenya, Africa and Asia,” he said.

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He said about 80 Ilri employees, living with their families in Kapiti, as well as international scientists who conduct experiments in the facility have been threatened with violence by the trespassers.

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Machakos CountyLand rowInternational Livestock Research Institute