livestock
livestock

Kenya will on Wednesday start livestock identification and traceability initiative that aims to provide real-time identity and traceability of livestock as the country seeks to discourage cattle rustling and start disease free zones to enable export of animal products.

The identification and traceability exercise will start in Laikipia County, in the northern part of the country with a huge number of pastoralists and livestock farmers.

The Laikipia County is also the bedrock of Kenya’s world-renowned Boran cattle breed, known to perform better under extreme conditions. Cheaper to rear and with high resistance to diseases, it is favored for cross breeding across the world.

“Traceability will help in the marketing of the county’s livestock products especially in international markets as it enables consumers to track down information about a product,” Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi told Xinhua on Tuesday.

“This is a major step towards the country’s efforts to recapture its beef export quota to the European Union which it lost 25 years ago because of failure to initiative traceability measures and create disease-free zones.”

“This aims at minimizing or completely eradicating challenges that the sub-sector faces such as livestock thefts, diseases and barriers in the marketing livestock products,” he added.

The exercise is being implemented in partnership with the national government, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Foundation and Kenya Veterinary Association.

The technology to be used known as RippleNami rWaves application will offer real-time livestock tracking and therefore provide the platform for an effective national reporting system and enable programs for the prevention and control of livestock diseases, officials said.

“The ability to geographically visualize the registration of individual animals, farms, holdings, premises and herds enables us to identify risk areas, create disease free zones and to assure livestock traceability for trade and food safety. And the collateralization of livestock assets will enable farmers to achieve higher prices for their livestock and to secure loans for continued growth,” said Dr. Kahariri Samuel, National Chairman of Kenya Veterinary Association.

Livestock identification and traceability is part of the agenda of the Intergovernmental Agency on Development (IGAD) as part of bringing value to the livestock industry in the eastern and horn of Africa region.

The IGAD region is home to 336 million cattle, goats and camels, the organization’s data indicates.

The livestock sector contributes significantly to the economy of countries in the region and to the livelihoods of millions of pastoralists and smallholder livestock keepers and traders. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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