County embarks on tagging of animals
The Laikipia county department of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries in partnership with the Kenya Directorate of veterinary services, World Vision – Imara Daima program, has embarked on a livestock identification and traceability system programme in the County.
The process involves tagging every animal with an electronic tag that is GPRS enabled. The tag also carries with it the farmer’s name, vaccination history, age, type, location and the colour of the animal.
“This will significantly improve the quality of animals and their prices in our County. With the assurance of the animal’s vaccination history and ownership, the market price will improve and so will farmer’s income,” James Mugere, Chief Officer, Department of Agriculture explained.
"The success of these efforts is predicated on farmers owning these efforts, understanding the benefits of tagging and how that will impact on their economy and security of their animals" she added.
To address this, veterinary officers have been trained about the system operations. In return, they have trained representatives from 13 Community ranches about the Identification and traceability process benefits of acquiring the identification and animal tags.
Speaking at the first tagging exercise in Segera on Tuesday, the Kenya Commercial Bank foundation, livestock programme manager Mr. Bernard Barasa said that farmers and ranchers can benefit with loans from the foundation at zero interest among other benefits.
Laikipia is the pioneer of this exercise and while at first the target is 100,000 heads of cattle, the overall objective is every animal in Laikipia County to be tagged and fed in the system.
"This will do two things, improve on the quality of cattle and subsequently farmer’s income, and second, enable security apparatus to trace stolen animals hence improving security especially in Laikipia North and in Laikipia West," observed Mr Mugere.
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