Kajiado farmers appeal to KMC to buy female cattle

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 27 Jul, 2022 13:49 | 2 mins read
Ravaging drought effects continue taking a toll on Kajiado farmers. Cattle now roaming in town over lack of pasture. Farmers appeal to KMC to consider buying heifers and bulls during the government livestock off program. PHOTO/Christine Musa

Kajiado farmers are now calling on the government to consider buying both bulls and heifers during this year's livestock off-take program.

The devastated farmers facing a dire situation owing to the ravaging drought are optimistic that the government will soon kick off the livestock off-take program under Kenya Meat Commission(KMC) but are worried if the bull and heifer policy is not reviewed the initiative will not be helpful.

Athi River-based KMC policy defines the heifers to bulls ratio to be 2:8.

"Our livestock hunger is taking a toll on us. We can no longer afford to feed them using hay. We are looking forward to KMC beginning its offtake program soon. We however request the government to consider us selling both bulls and heifers indiscriminately during this drought season. It is about saving our animals during these tough times," Alex Mejooli, a farmer, appeals.

The state-owned meat processor usually undertakes an off-take program during drought season where it buys cattle from farmers in large numbers to cushion them against the effects of drought and save livestock from dying of hunger.

Kajiado farmers pleased with revamped KMC

Farmers are further jubilant over the revamped meat processing factory which they say has reaped big under streamlined management by Kenya Defense Forces (KDF).

"Under the KDF management, the meat processor has become significant to us. Payment of our cattle is steady and delivered within the three days the government pledged. In this move, President Uhuru fought for our wellness. We are also happy that brokers no longer oppress us since we have direct access to sell our cattle upon complying with set regulations," Moita Joseph says.

Under the new management, cattle prices are calculated using live weight, a move that is favourable to illiterate farmers who are not conned by rogue brokers like previously.

The meat processor was placed under KDF management under the directive of President Uhuru Kenyatta following massive corruption and mismanagement which sank the factory into bad debts with business coming to a halt.

The farmers' calls come amid major concerns over a possible voter apathy resulting from drought where herders have moved far away in search of water and pasture.

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