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Turkana residents turn Mathenge into animal feed

By Joan Letting | August 20th 2015

TURKANA, KENYA: More families in Turkana have resorted to milling mathenge (prosopis juliflora) plant for animal feeds in a move that is improving economy in the area thanks to Sh 1.2 million plant by the Kenya Forestry Research Institute.

According to Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) official Jesse Owino, more households are now using the plant.

"Initially the milling plant used to serve 40 households but the households have now increased to over 100 and this number might still go up," said Owino.

Speaking during a regional workshop on prosopis juliflora dubbed 'potentials of prosopis management' organized by German GIZ), National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) and KEFRI offices in Lodwar, Owino said with the increased usage, the milling plant had been breaking down and called on business people to invest in more processors.
"Due to the high demand, the only prosopis milling plant in Turkana County keeps breaking down quite often, the plant that sits at Lokangai mills 6 bags of prosopis flour in a day," said Owino.
Owino called on other partners to help build new plants in the area to help residents and improve the economy of the county.
"I urge the county government and other private investors to support the milling plant at Lokangai and to build others in areas covered by prosopis," said Owino.
Owino noted that the milling plant has helped the community in the area to mill the prosopis to be used for animal feed.
The plant is a thorny 3-15 m height shrub that is largely considered as an invader. Apart from the processed animal feeds, the shrub plants that covers 3000km square of land in Turkana County and 2 percent nationally has been resourceful in the Northern Kenya districts for charcoal and construction.

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