The Laikipia County Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, in partnership with the Kenya Directorate of Veterinary Services, and the World Vision – Imara Program, has embarked on a livestock identification and traceability system programme in the County.
The process involves tagging every animal with an electronic tag that is GPRS enabled. The tag also carries with it the farmer’s name, vaccination history, age, type, location and the colour of the animal.
“This will significantly improve the quality of animals and their prices in our County. With assurance of the animal’s vaccination history and ownership, market price will improve and so will farmer’s income,” James Mugere, CO, Department of Agriculture explained.
The success of these efforts is predicated on farmers owning these efforts, understanding the benefits of tagging and how that will impact on their economy and security of their animals.
To address this, veterinary officers have been trained about the system operations. In return, they have trained representatives from 13 Community ranches (in Doldol) about the Identification and traceability process – benefits of acquiring the identification and animal tags.
Speaking at the first tagging exercise in Segera last week on Friday, The Kenya Commercial Bank Foundation, Livestock Programme Manager, Mr. Bernard Barasa, said that farmers and ranchers can benefit with loans from the Foundation at zero interest among other benefits.
Laikipia is the pioneer of this exercise and while the target is 10,000 heads of cattle, the overall objective is every animal in Laikipia County to be tagged in the system.
This effort was pioneered by the Oramat Lenaboisho Cooperative Society some three years ago, but was stopped when the GOK disallowed GPRS chipping in livestock as a health hazard.
The expectation is that tagging will add value to our livestock industry through traceability, and improve the security of livestock through the same system.