TAITA-TAVETA – In response to the severe drought affecting the region, over 1000 livestock farmers in Taita-Taveta County will receive a donation of 250 tons of livestock feed from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The intervention targets 40 of the most drought-affected areas in the county to prevent animal deaths and support the vital livestock sector.
According to Kenya News Agency, speaking at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) depot in Voi, the donated feed is critical for sustaining livestock until pastures can regenerate, a process that will take weeks despite the recent onset of rains. The governor highlighted that the donation arrives as a result of strong relationships with development partners and reflects the administration’s commitment to prioritizing the welfare of farmers.
Governor Mwadime emphasized the livestock sector’s potential as a key income source for the county, citing the area’s disease-free status and pasture-rich ranches. He revealed plans for meetings with the state department of livestock to discuss strategies for revitalizing the livestock value chain and gaining access to international markets. This includes initiatives to reactivate projects like the Bachuma livestock multiplication center.
The region has faced a devastating period of drought that resulted in the death of thousands of animals, from goats and sheep to cattle. The County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture and Livestock, Mr. Eric Kyongo, reported that the drought had inflicted heavy losses on both small and large-scale livestock keepers and had also severely impacted the ranches.
Mr. Kyongo detailed the department’s efforts to commercialize the livestock sector by promoting pasture cultivation to build buffer stocks for drought periods. In addition to the feed distribution, farmers are receiving hybrid grass seeds and resources like energy-efficient hay-making machines and insulated storage bags to enhance pasture growth and fodder conservation.
As part of a broader strategy to combat the impacts of drought and human-wildlife conflict, the county administration is encouraging farmers to consider commercial grass cultivation. The promotion of high-yield, fast-growing grass varieties is seen as a way to support livestock nutrition needs while providing an additional revenue stream for farmers in affected regions.