Perennial death of cattle in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid areas MUST be a thing of the past if cattle farmers engage in feedlot livestock management.
Kenya has in decades been experiencing severe drought in the drylands, where 90 percent of beef animals are kept.
During such times, pastoralists lose thousands of animals to drought due to lack of pasture.
The lucky ones normally move to other areas but this has always led to conflict over resources, including pasture and water.
Others have been selling the animals for as low as 5 U.S. dollars for goats and sheep to escape losses.
Over the years, the government has been buying animals from farmers to cushion them from losses but this model has been unsustainable so far.
Feedlots, therefore, offer the best solution as the effects of climate change become more severe in Kenya’s arid areas.
The feedlots are special holding zones for animals where they are treated, fed with various protein rations to boost weight gain and then released for the market for slaughter.
The country continue to experience drought in many arid and semi-arid counties. To mitigate the effects of drought, African Farm Resource Centre wishes to carryout a Farmer training program to educate farmers on FEEDLOT FARM MANAGEMENT. This Training program is being rolled out in 12 arid counties namely Machakos, Isiolo, Laikipia, Tana River, Lamu, Narok, Baringo, Kajiado, Marsabit, Kwale, Taita Taveta and West Pokot.
The overall aim of the project is to boost food security, which is one of the main goals of the Big Four agenda through increase of supply of livestock for the local and export market.
Feedlots would unlock the economic potential of arid areas and enable farmers to keep their livestock healthy trough out the period till market time.
At the end of the training, that culture of losing animals due to drought would be a thing of the past. Pastoralist would sell their animals at good prices. Also the period for fattening will be reduced from 6 years to 6 months meaning a farmer will be able to dispose off his animals at market weight of 400kgs within a year.