Taita Taveta County farmers received 2,250 Galla goats distributed by FAO working with the County Government of Taita Taveta. The goal is to empower farmers and directly contribute to food and nutrition security through the production of milk.
510 farmers from 22 groups received the Galla goats. The farmers were aggregated into six clusters depending on their location and this is to help them utilize the He-goats that were not distributed to all farmers but will be shared amongst them for breeding purposes.
Taita Taveta County is among the Arid and Semi-Arid Counties that are currently facing a prolonged drought that has reduced livestock feed availability.
Among the projects that FAO is implementing in the county, the intervention aims to build the resilience of the local farmers to adapt to climate change by assisting farmers to select farming activities that can thrive in drought conditions.
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“This is a unique intervention because it is the farmers themselves that chose the value chain through community action planning. We trained them on various value chains and gave them the option to select what they thought would serve them best.” FAO Field Programs Specialist Abedih Mbatha shares.
Goats are best adapted to the ASALs; they are relatively easy to keep, easy to feed, and can survive drought and harsh conditions. The majority of the beneficiary farmers are graduates of Farmer Field School and were trained in livestock husbandry to ensure that they are able to take care of the goats for optimal production.
The ceremony was presided over by Deputy Governor Christine Kilalo, and Dr. Barrack Okoba; the team lead Resilient Food and Livelihood Systems at FAO. Also in attendance were senior government officials and local leaders.
“I once participated in a chicken auction here some years back. I bought very nice chicken here and went on to become a poultry farmer. I want to come back next year and participate in a Galla goat auction from this stock we are giving today so that once again I become a goat farmer.” Said Dr. Barack Okoba.
Dr. Okoba added that the goats given have a very high twinning rate and will take a very short time to dot the landscape in Mbololo. He urged the farmers to take good care of the goats. “These goats are now yours, they don’t belong to FAO or the County government, they are yours take good care of them and you will benefit.”
“As a county, we have a plan to ensure this county is food sufficient through improved agriculture production. We shall thus work with partners like FAO towards achieving this and we need your support. Your support comes by way of ensuring such resources entrusted to you like these goats today are given good care to yield milk, meat, and money for you.” Said Deputy Governor Christine Kilalo.
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Dr. Beatrice Otina the area Veterinary Officer has promised to help the farmers to keep the goats in good health through continuous disease surveillance. She said they would work with the Animal Health Assistants to ensure that all the goats are free of any external and internal parasites and diseases through continuous visits and sensitization of farmers.
This is one of the activities in Agricultural Climate Resilient Enhancement Initiative (ACREI) project. ACREI is funded by the Adaptation Fund and implemented by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) with a goal of building the capacity of vulnerable communities to adapt to climate change.
For more information contact
Dr. Joseph Othieno
National Communication Specialist