Livestock farmers and traders in West Pokot County have lamented over poor livestock prices since the strike of Covid-19 in the country.
The prices of goats, cattle and sheep have been decreasing since Covid-19 was reported in the country with livestock farmers and traders in the county operating at minimal profits.
According to traders at Kishaunet Livestock Auction Market in West Pokot County, the prices of cattle have dropped to an average of between Sh 30,000 and Sh 15,000 from Sh 40,000 and Sh 25,000 whereas goats and sheep prices have moved to Sh 6, 000 and Sh 3, 000 from between Sh 8,000 and Sh 6,000 respectively
They attributed the fall in prices to the high supply of livestock by farmers to needy consumers who are also struggling with the measures put in place to curb Covid-19 and were utilizing the little money they earn on essential basic needs.
Mr Kevin Lopuo, a Livestock Trader at the Centre said lack of demand due to prevailing low consumption of meat in urban areas has affected his daily sales since the pandemic struck.
He singled out a livestock trader from Nairobi and Kampala Uganda who used to boost his business by buying his livestock for slaughter but has now ceased.
“I used to transport my livestock to Uganda for sale and also Ugandans could cross the border to Karita market where they buy cows but at the moment the Ugandan government is still restricting movement.” He said.
His sentiment was echoed by another trader Krop Mark who noted that he used to make huge profits but the outbreak of Covid-19 affected his business.
“Nowadays I get less profit from the business, Chepareria and Kiashaunet are key livestock markets where we reap huge profits on market days but currently we are unable to make a profit of more than Sh 500,” said Krop
The Covid-19 pandemic, he said, has really hit the sector since they are no longer receiving buyers from outside the county.
He said that they are expecting maybe the sales will increase when curfew is lifted.
“Goats are not selling like before. Farmers are being forced to go back with their livestock and since there is enough pasture occasioned by the extended rainy season, there is nothing to bother about,” the traders said.