Livestock farmers in Elgeyo Marakwet have benefited from the Sh18million World Bank-funded animals’ vaccination program.
The program under the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Programme (KCSAP) is meant to eradicate rampant livestock diseases in the area including East Coast Fever (ECF) and Peste des Pettis Ruminantes (PPR).
The program is being implemented in the county’s six wards as the first phase and is aimed at improving agricultural production aligned to climate change adaptation.
Farmers in the region have been incurring huge losses due to diseases and the program would offer them a big relief.
“We have spent millions of shillings in treating our sick animals due to the two mentioned diseases which are prone in the region. This program has come at an opportune time because it will mitigate on the losses in the livestock sector,” said Titus Kosgei, one of the beneficiaries.
Livestock Principal Secretary Dr Harry Kimutai while presiding over the vaccination exercise at the weekend in Soy South ward hailed KCSAP implementation of in the county saying it was improving household incomes.
“This County has demonstrated prudence in this Programme and the impacts are there to be seen. As the national government, we shall partner with counties like these to inject more support because the returns are clearly guaranteed,” he said.
Dr Kimutai said as a result of the progress made by the County, the State Department of Agriculture would include Elgeyo Marakwet in the new Kenya Livestock Commercialization Programme.
“The National Government will issue 100,000 doses of Peste Des Pettis Ruminantes (PPR) vaccines to be used to vaccinate goats in the Kerio Valley. We will also introduce dairy goats in the valley, including the introduction of dairy goat Artificial Insemination (AI) to improve breeds,” stated the PS.
On his part, Governor Alex Tolgos who accompanied the PS said the initiative had transformed livelihoods in the six wards currently being covered.
“I will continue pursuing collaboration in these sectors because already we have seen a true transformation. Recently the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics put Elgeyo Marakwet at number two in Kenya in agricultural productivity,” he noted.
Tolgos said under KCSAP, 81 farmers’ groups in the six wards had received over Sh49 million in grants.
“The groups have done a good job with the funds we have disbursed and I believe the World Bank will review what we have done and add us more money to cover the other 14 other,” added the governor.