Livestock farmers in West Pokot County have benefited from vaccines doses worth Kshs 21.5 million for livestock vaccination purposes courtesy of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the State Department of Livestock under the Agriculture Ministry to boost production and improve animal health in the semi arid region.
The vaccines comprise 150,000 doses of Lumpy Skin Disease vaccines, 200,000 doses of PPR Vaccines, 100,000 doses of Black quarter and Anthrax vaccines, 100 liters of Acaracides, 150 litres of Anthelmintics, 60 drenching guns for deworming, syringes, multi-vitamins and antibiotics.
The vaccines were delivered by a delegation led by FAO Representative to Kenya Dr Tobias Takavarasha and Livestock Principal Secretary Harry Kimutai.
Speaking in Kapenguria while handing over the vaccines to the County government before heading to Tonoyon in Lelan ward, FAO Representative in Kenya Dr. Tobias Takavarasha said that the program will promote livestock marketing and value chain. “Livestock value chain is one that needs more equal attention to other crops value chains based on the evidence and the existing demand.”
He pointed out that the organization was building and facilitating capacity of farmers to improve their knowledge on livestock production. “We want the partnership to stay and we shall also support neighboring Counties to be able to tackle diseases easily,” he said.
Livestock Principal Secretary Harry Kimutai said that they chose to support West Pokot County because it is faced with a lot of challenges when it comes to issues of livestock. “West Pokot is on the forefront in livestock farming though it’s faced with a lot of challenges due to trans-boundary diseases. I’m happy the County signed an agreement with Uganda on the free movement of livestock and the government will support you.”
The PS said Counties are losing millions of shillings annually in their efforts to individually deal with outbreaks mainly foot and mouth disease. He reiterated that the government will also support other programs in the area.
West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo said that the vaccination exercise comes at an opportune time when they are upgrading the livestock breeds, even as Nasukuta Export Abattoir nears completion. Governor Lonyangapuo said they want to ensure the region is an animal disease free zone to help improve immunity of livestock for 6-8 months, improve productivity, and enhance marketing.
Lonyangapuo cited that they are targeting to vaccinate more animals from the region and improve the pastoral economy. “Residents in the region solemnly depend on livestock and livestock products, and livestock production is very high,” he said.