By George Munene
The Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) resumed livestock transport on Sunday with the first batch of cattle delivered to the Kenya Meat Commission from Laikipia County through the renovated Nanyuki to Nairobi line.
Cattle wagon transport was a major feature along the bustling Nairobi-Nanyuki railway until the 1990s when the line ground to a halt.
One wagon will accommodate up to 30 cows but the cattle line schedule has yet to be released by the parastatal.
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From Nairobi Central Railway Station, the branch line which was renovated at a cost of Sh3 billion traverses six counties; Nairobi, Kiambu, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Nyeri, and Laikipia Counties.
“The rehabilitation of the Kenya Railways line coupled with the Kenya Meat Commission coming back to full operations offers a great opportunity for our livestock farmers and related enterprises to flourish and thrive,” said Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi.
The railway line is expected to be a boon to agribusiness–the main source of livelihood for residents in the region.
Since it was operationalised in August last year, the line has helped offer cheap and efficient transport for cereals and bulky agricultural inputs such as fertilisers and agri-machinery.
As more farmers become aware of its operationalisation it will help in moving beef, horticulture, floriculture, milk, and potatoes– the main agricultural products from Laikipia, Nyandarua, and Nakuru counties.
Stations located along the Nairobi to Nanyuki corridor are at Nairobi, Makadara, Dandora, Kahawa, Ruiru, Kalimoni, Thika, Mitubiri, Makuyu, Maragua, Murang’a, Sagana, Karatina, Kiganjo, Naromoru and Nanyuki.
It will also connect the region to the Lamu Port South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) corridor.