The Livestock Sector Strengthening (LSS) Project aims to support the Frontier Counties to improve livestock production by creating a conducive environment for the delivery of livestock services. The project focuses on enhancing key factors such as animal health, fodder production, and development of aspects of markets. This is achieved by strengthening institutions that are involved in the livestock sector to deliver relevant services more effectively and encouraging inter-county coordination.
All the member Counties with exception of the Tana River County attended the first-ever Directors of Livestock Production and Veterinary Services Coordination Meeting held between 9th and 10th of March 2020 in Nairobi.
The livestock sector is however riddled with numerous challenges such as endemic diseases, low productivity, climatic shocks, non-harmonized, and uncoordinated livestock development. The Common Programme Framework for the Control of Diseases in the FCDC region is a collaborative framework that intends to synergize the approaches by the member counties for addressing livestock disease control challenges. The Framework consists of nine (9) Pillars, each with elaborate mechanisms of achieving sustainable economic disease control measures.
The directors discussed appropriate livestock identification and traceability system (LITs) in the FCDC region. Improving diagnosis through training of vet staff on animal health surveillance, and the use of public and private laboratories to provide timely and reliable diagnosis was also discussed. The Directors agreed to activate livestock disease control coordination forums at the county and host knowledge-sharing meetings. They will develop and use common vaccination calendar across FCDC counties for priority diseases, and develop harmonized livestock movement permits across the counties. Recruitment of additional animal health experts to address gaps in the delivery of better animal health services was also suggested.
The Strategy borrows a lot from the National Livestock Policy. He highlighted the vision, outcomes, output, and the main activities for sustainable fodder and pasture production in the FCDC region. The strategy envisions a sustainable and productive livestock fodder and pasture sector that is competitive both locally and externally, enhances food security, promotes the resilience of producers, and supports economic growth in the FCDC region.
- Outcome 1: The resilience of vulnerable producers in the FCDC region against natural hazards and economic shocks enhanced
- Outcome 2: Fodder productivity, profitability, competitiveness and contribution to food security, employment generation and economic growth improved and increased
- Outcome 3: Governance, legal framework, and institutional capacity of the livestock fodder sector strengthened.
The Directors discussed the following as action plans for implementation at the county level:
- Developing Grazing Land polices and Laws
- Establishing and developing fodder seed banks
- Establish feedlots to stimulate fodder demand
- Providing necessary infrastructure for fodder learning, e.g. model farms, ATCs
- Strengthening county stakeholders’ coordination and collaboration
- Developing and institutionalizing fodder county contingency plana
- Developing technical guidelines for extension in fodder production
- Promoting hay baling and silage making technologies
The current feed and fodder status of the various counties in the region developed by FAO and partners were shared with the Directors, which illustrates that most FCDC regions are deficient in feed and fodder for their animals. It was recommended that Counties with feedlots such as Isiolo, Turkana, Samburu, Garissa, and Marsabit to lease and allocate land to the private sector for fodder production.