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Initiative to boost pastoralists with funding

Livestock
 

Saruni Laputit a pastoralist at Mosiro area in Narok East watering his goats. [Robert Kiplagat, Standard]

Kenya’s pastoralists are set to benefit from an innovative initiative aimed at enhancing resilience in the livestock sector.

It’s being spearheaded by the Kenya Development Corporation (KDC), the De-Risking, Inclusion, and Value Enhancement of Pastoral Economies (DRIVE). Through this programme, KDC is providing essential financial support to Arid and Semi-Arid Land counties, with a specific focus on strengthening livestock value chains.

The initiative’s primary aims include providing participants in the livestock value chain with access to capital, facilitating market access, and implementing a livestock traceability system.

The recent drought cycle that concluded in 2022 led to Kenya losing over 2.5 million livestock, causing significant economic setbacks for households and the nation.

To safeguard against such losses, multi-sectoral approaches are indispensable to mitigate risks and de-risk critical investments, particularly in accessing fodder, value addition, and markets.

Other partners are the World Bank and the Government, notably through the State Department for Livestock Development.

 “The DRIVE project has emerged as a beacon of hope for the region’s pastoral communities. The project objective remains to de-risk pastoral systems at the primary level through an integrated package of financial services,” said Ms. Norah Ratemo, Director General KDC.

She added: “The DRIVE project aligns with the government’s commitment to providing adequate capital to enhance the climate resilience of pastoral communities, address climate change, promote the commercialization of livestock production, and ensure the inclusion of marginalized and vulnerable groups such as women and youth.”

This initiative offers a diverse range of financial facilities tailored to the varying needs within the livestock sector.

Boresha Mifugo loan

The Boresha Mifugo loans include wholesale finance for financial intermediaries and project financing to facilitate large-scale investments in manufacturing or production within the livestock value chain, such as feedlots, fodder, and livestock feed production, leather, and meat processing.

Ms. Ratemo stated, “KDC’s mandate aligns with DRIVE to catalyze livestock trade as a nascent sector holding great economic promise. We shall, therefore, continue to provide our expertise, experience, and technical support, advisory services, and support in mobilizing private sector resources for this cause.”

The loan application process is still open for farmers, who are encouraged to apply.

Additionally, it includes investment and Agri-Asset financing to enable the acquisition of essential machinery, processing equipment, vehicles, tractors, and other farm implements.

Kenya Development Corporation has already approved and disbursed over Sh730 million in loans to livestock farmers through this programme.

The DRIVE project was officially launched in July 2023 by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua to accelerate its impact across the country.

A recent project steering committee meeting chaired by State Department of Livestock PS Jonathan Mueke, emphasised the importance of aligning the project with the government’s Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA).

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