Kenya made an export of only 200,000 heads of cattle for food in the year 2014, these figures fall far behind the exports of its neighboring countries of Somalia and Ethiopia.
Reports from the Food and Agriculture Organization show that Somalia made an export of 4.5 million heads of cattle and Ethiopia exporting 1.9 million in the same period. The economies of the two countries are however smaller in comparison to Kenya’s.
Lesuuda Naisula Samburu County nominated senator said that, “We (government) have not done a lot in terms of livestock quality and maximizing potential in this sector but conversations are ongoing to see more action.”
Other than being a Senator, Lesuuda is also a member of the Parliamentary Pastoralists Group (PPG) that consists of 86 MPs from the arid areas.
She further explained that, “We are looking into the Livestock Authority Bill and how to represent the needs of this sector and create wealth for our people.”
Ms Lesuuda pointed out the absence of local structures to handle the market demand. The selling of cattle can only happen when pastoralist are in need of money to meet their family demands like paying of children fees.
The 2009 census shows that Kenya has 7.2 million pastoralists spread out in the country’s arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) and that they manage 70 per cent of the livestock population, yet they have the highest incidence of poverty.
Based on 2009 census there 7.2 million pastoralist in Kenya, who occupy the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) of the country and 70% of the livestock population is managed by them, surprisingly enough the population has shown the highest levels of poverty.
The government should make initiatives of reforming the nonprofit making government agencies like the Kenya Meat Commission in an effort to revamp the exports in this sector.