A recent report by the government indicated that, livestock worth 64.2 billion in the ASAL areas, has been wiped out as the region experiences the worst drought in 60 years. “A quarter of the country’s zebu herd in ASAL areas of 14 million animals is lost and the worst is possibly yet to come” Daily Nation reported.
A brief on investment opportunities available in Kenya, accredited by the Ministry of State for Planning National Development and Vision 2030 stated that, “livestock production in the ASAL accounts for nearly 90% of the employment opportunities and nearly 95% of the family incomes. It also accounts for about 45% of the Agricultural GDP.” Though natural calamities such as drought cannot be controlled, its effects can be anticipated, thus loss of people’s lives and property as a result of the same can adequately be subdued. Isn’t it wrong in the face of the fact that, 75% of Kenya’s livestock are in the ASAL areas, whereas they are served with less than 10% of livestock service staff? What sense is in losing 64bn on one hand, and soliciting for aid funds to a tune of 1bn on the other? If that is anything to go by, then we have surely settled for less than survival. It is envisioned in the Kenya’s Vision 2030, to increase farmers income, create employment, and reduce malnutrition and food insecurity. Investing in the livestock sector, especially in the North Eastern Province (NEP), may be a good place to begin. “The development of a fully fledged export industry for processed livestock products, would doubtless have the greatest impact on the economy, and welfare of the NEP and its people” ReSAKSS, 2008. The article titled, Investment Opportunities for Livestock in the North Eastern Province of Kenya: A Synthesis of Existing Knowledge, further points out that strengthening of the institutions that, “ensure political stability, public security and protection of investment and ownership would induce investors to contribute to the development of the NEP through investment in the livestock sector.”
It is not too late to begin, for all is not lost. It is true that one doesn’t appreciate the value of what they have, till it is lost. But the fool is the one who sits back and stands to lose, even more. Challenges are there, for the ones who are ready to take them. Turning the current drought adversity into an opportunity for growth, can begin with just a simple step as laying down commercially oriented road networks, into the NEP.
What’s Your Say?
Drought wipes out herd worth Sh64bn Daily Nation August 7, 2011
Investment Opportunities Google Docs (as of) August 10, 2011