Sheep and goats in northern Kenya (photo on Flickr by gordontour).
‘The Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (IBAR) is asking the [Kenya] Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MALF) to reserve at least five per cent of the estimated funds its set to receive from the Treasury for the Department of Livestock.
‘These figures translate to Sh1.95 billion out of the estimated Sh38.9 billion the Treasury has allocated to the ministry for the 2013/14 fiscal year.
‘The lobby, comprising 57 Member States of the African Union (AU), said the country should direct significant funds to the sector to boost livestock production.
‘“Last year IBAR held a conference involving participants from the Ministry of Agriculture across Africa where we agreed to push for at least five per cent share for livestock,” the Union’s Information System manager, Ibrahim Gashash said.
‘Speaking at an event to mark Livestock Data Innovation in Africa, Dr Gashash said besides boosting trade, livestock products could help address perennial food shortages witnessed in Kenya during dry spells.
‘Dr Gashash suggested that the government should invest more in the northern arid and semi-arid areas of Kenya as this would create about 400,000 jobs given the region comprises 70 per cent of the country’s livestock herd.
The Animal Resources body has partnered with United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Bank, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and African livestock ministries towards developing efficient livestock data system.
‘The move is meant to capture accurate livestock population, identify specific needs of each African country and find their solutions.
‘The programme, worth Sh209 million ($2.5 million), started in 2010 and has since facilitated data handling in pilot countries Uganda, Tanzania and Niger. . . .’
Read the whole article at Business Daily (Kenya): Lobby seeks 5pc of ministry’s fund for livestock, 3 May 2013.