Animal Health To Boost Farmers Income

The County Government of Laikipia has launched a livestock vaccination program, as it paces to have its pastoral lands disease-free.
Cabinet Administrative Secretary for Agriculture Dr. Jebii Kilimo officially launched the exercise today at Segera ward.
The vaccine is administered to goats and sheep to control the spread of PPR, a highly contagious viral disease that affects the small domestic ruminants.
The intervention is aimed at eradicating the disease which has caused socio-economic losses to pastoral communities whose livelihoods depend on the animals, since it can kill 90 percent of the infected animals and severely affecting the production of the surviving animals.
Although the PPR can be treated, the vaccine is the most effective alternative as it offers lifelong protection against the disease.
The move is part of a broader strategy to attain a disease-free standard for the animals so as to secure the lucrative global meat markets, where Kenya has failed to secure export of the product to the premium market due to livestock disease concerns.
The joint partnership between the county and national government together with other development partners also saw the launching of the PPR test kit, a revolutionary technology with a turnaround test time of 20 minutes per test. Previously, such tests would take longer as test samples would be taken to the veterinary laboratories in Kabete.
The UNs Food and Agricultural Organization recognizes PPR disease as a cause of poverty for vulnerable pastoral communities, and it targets to fully eradicate PPR disease by the year 2030.
Meanwhile, as part of creating sustainable economies through alternative climate smart farming, the government has commissioned a 25,000 bale hay store in Matanya. The move is aimed to scale up land productivity by promoting the production of hay in the area since the climatic conditions are best suited for the production of the crop.
The production of hay is set to strengthen cooperatives in the area as the hay shed is set to store hay equivalent to 500 Hectares, requiring the farmers to pool together to maximize the storage capacity.

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