News Column

Kilifi banks on high breed goats, auctions to combat poverty

January 21, 2014

Bozo Jenje -1

The Kilifi County government has launched a goat-rearing project that will be anchored on superior breeds and ready markets to end perennial poverty in the region. Women groups will receive the goats, be trained in breeding, feeding, and diseases so they can boost income. The county agriculture executive member Mwalimu Menza said they were banking on the project to end food insecurity that had confined residents to relief food every year. "We embarked on this project to eradicate the perennial food shortage that results from failed rains in most parts of the county," he said. Mr Menza said the county had allocated funds in the current budget to buy goats and renovate livestock markets. Kilifi deputy speaker Teddy Mwambire said the initiative would promote livestock farming when every household gets a high-breed goat. "We have started the goats upgrading project in a small way but we will use the local ranches to breed for auction," he said. Ganze MP Peter Shehe said for the goats to thrive in the dry region, farmers should work closely with the vets for information on the best practice and technology. "The goats require attention to detect diseases to avoid the stock being wiped out," he warned. Coast Women in Development Executive director Betty Sharon said a project started with 62 goats funded by Wyndham International was successful and grew into a goat meat project. "The programme has opened a window for women at the grassroots to come out of the yoke of dependence and transform their lives, "she said. Furaha Women Group chairperson Christine Pendo Safari and Feni Kadzo Kahindi of Tuinuane Women Group said the women were now ready to undertake the project after training in animal husbandry and records. "We can now construct sheds, prepare fodder, select goats for rearing, detect diseases and dispense medicine," Ms Safari said. Vitengeni Division Livestock extension officer Michael Mwasaru said the challenge was poor animal husbandry that hurts production. "Without proper livestock management the incomes from the goats will be lower than expected and may frustrate the project," he said.

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Source: Business Daily (Kenya)

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