Livestock Farmers Trained On Pasture Production And Conservation

Kajiado County Government in partnership with SNV Kenya has trained livestock farmers in Kajiado on livestock pasture production and conservation. Speaking during the training, Kajiado County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture, Livestock, Irrigation and Fisheries Dr. Jacktone Achola said that the training aimed at ensuring that the pastoralists have pasture for their livestock in order to avoid the high costs of livestock movement which is usually occasioned by lack of pasture. He remarked that due to the above average rainfall received in the county, there is a lot of pasture available thus the need to train farmers on how to conserve it for future use. 'We are also trying to address how we can mechanize pasture production so that we can be able to harvest whatever we have at a good time as part of embracing modulated pastoralism,' said Dr. Achola He noted that modulated pastoralism also entails moderating the movement of livestock while increasing the productivity and conservation of pasture so that even during drought, the livestock have enough pasture to sustain them. He remarked that once there is enough pasture for the animals, the department will also source for external markets for the animals for the farmers to get better markets and higher profit margins for their animals. Dr. Achola encouraged the farmers to join cooperatives that are well managed through the cooperative society as funding and the hay harvesting machines would be placed in cooperative societies for sustainability and good management. Peninah Nasieku, one of the trainees, is thankful for the training saying they had undergone a lot of losses during the recent drought as they had to buy hay for their livestock. 'We were forced to buy hay at a high cost. Sometimes the quality was very poor and it came with a lot of diseases which made us lose our animals even after buying hay for them. The pasture production training is therefore very important for us and it has come at an appropriate time,' said Nasieku Roseline Tinkoy, also a livestock farmer, said that moving the livestock from one place to another in search of pasture was not only costly but also tedious and causes instability in the family as men follow the livestock leaving behind women and children. 'This puts a strain on the family structure as the men are the head of the family and their absence will create insecurity and instability at home. Having enough pasture all year round, will help prevent their absence,' she said. Source: Kenya News Agency