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State warns over illegal semen trade

By | April 19th 2012 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

By WAMBUI NDUNG’U

The Government has raised the alarm over illegal semen trade at a private ranch in Laikipia.

Livestock Development Minister Mohammed Kuti claimed farmers from South Africa were chartering planes directly to the ranch to collect semen.

Speaking in Nyeri, Mr Kuti warned that the country risks losing the patent of rearing the Borana cattle if the trend was not checked.

The minister claimed that some South African businessmen were flying to the ranch in private planes to buy semen of Borana cattle at very low prices.

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"We need to protect our gene materials or we risk losing it," the minister said.

He claimed that the businessmen were falsifying the amount of semen to buy more than they indicated.

At the same time the minister said the country should come up with measures for sustainable food production.

He noted that the country keeps going back to the cycle of famine during the dry season.

Kuti was speaking yesterday at the closing ceremony of the Animal Production Society of Kenya symposium.

"Although we have in the past sought markets for our livestock we should not continue to export live animals other than for breeding purposes," said Kuti.

Export rapporteurs

He disclosed that the Government was building five export rapporteurs in arid and semi arid areas to promote the beef industry.

Kuti said the country is able to produce enough livestock to meet local demand and export the surplus.

"We, however, cannot participate effectively and efficiently in the export market if we do not position ourselves for it through appropriate technologies," said Kuti.


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