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Government purchasing 26,710 cattle to freely feed 267,210 households

66822 kdf pumps ksh1 4 billion more into kenya meat commission 780x470
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By George Munene

The government-funded livestock destocking program has commenced in 13 drought-hit counties targeting the purchase and slaughter of over 26,710 cattle from herders to feed 267,210 households.

This exercise will be conducted over six weeks and hopes to reduce the effects of the ongoing drought and reduce the loss of animal life.

The current program has reached out to as many farmers within a short period of time with the aim of purchasing part of the livestock affected by drought from farmers for slaughter and distributing the meat to needy families on the ground.

According to a press release by the KRC on the program, over 4.1 million Kenyans in 23 Arid and Semi-Arid Lands are in need of food aid following a prolonged drought stretching back to October 2021.

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The National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) estimates heavy livestock losses in all 23 drought-affected counties with assessments showing livestock losses of up to 70 per cent in regions such as Ileret in Marsabit County. 

The program implemented by the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCs) in conjunction with the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) targets the counties of Isiolo, Marsabit, Samburu, West Pokot, Baringo, Laikipia, Makueni, Garissa, Kajiado, Turkana, Wajir and Tana River. 

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“We are not only providing food for the hungry, but by purchasing these weak animals, we are also providing markets for herders. This drought has pushed communities to the brink and our call remains to all our stakeholders and well-wishers to pull together and help alleviate this suffering,” said Dr. Asha Mohammed, Kenya Red Cross Secretary General on Tuesday.

For his part, KMC’s Managing Commissioner Brigadier James N Githaga reiterated that the parastatal is mandated to purchase cattle, sheep, and goats from across the country and is the buyer of last resort during drought through commercial offtake or ground slaughter livestock offtake programs. 

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