Livestock is a lucrative form of agribusiness which can deliver high returns if done right and if livestock keepers can access good markets.
Over 60% of livestock for meat in Kenya comes from pastoralists, but due to their non-commercial inclination, the animals they supply to the markets are usually too old (over 4 years of age) and weigh below the required minimum weights (200kgs).
Apart from the socio-cultural factor, several underlying factors related to animal husbandry practises contributes to the production of low-quality cattle
- Scarcity of water. Animals trek long distance between watering points in dry period grazing areas leading to weight loss,
- Poor marketing infrastructure and poor access to livestock market information
- Long distance trekking to the markets and water deprivation practice of pastoralists leading to weight loss
- Livestock diseases affecting the performance of the stock and among others
- Poor breed management and husbandry
To this regard, ORAMAT LENABOISHO Cooperative Society (OLCS) was formed to try and mitigate these factors
- The OLCS has been able to bring community steers together into Borana conservancy to access grazing and make it easier to manage them.
- The OLCS has been able to provide steers together for ease of marketing and sales, and as a collective/cooperative realize more ready gains.
- Veterinary treatments (including regular dipping) prevent disease and controls parasites.
In its endeavours to grow, OLCS has sought more grazing space with Lolldaiga Management Limited, which often has greener pastures. 138 OLCS members’ steers were moved in June to Lolldaiga for a hastened growth due to the sufficient pastures in the Conservancy.
There are plans to continue with this partnership for a longer period of time. The move has also seen OLCS link with a reliable partner called, AgWild which is a company that supports sustainable livestock production and marketing at scale in Laikipia, Kenya. Based out of Rumuruti, their goal is to generate value for cattle producers while supporting regenerative farming , people, and conservation.