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Livestock Sector in Kenya

Livestock sub-sector contributes about 10% of the GDP and accounts for over 30% of farm gate value of agricultural commodities. The population of major livestock species in 2009 was 40 estimated at 17.5 million cattle,17.1million sheep,27.7million goats, 2.9 million camels, 334,689 pigs, 25.7 million indigenous chicken, over 6 million commercial chicken and 1.8 million bee hives.

Livestock farming is practiced in all parts of Kenya either under the pastoral extensive system in the Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASALs) or under intensive, ranching and smallholder systems. The pastoral and commercial ranch systems traditionally
contribute to the supply of beef and small stock meat.

Livestock production in the ASAL accounts for nearly 90% of the employment opportunities and nearly 95% of the family incomes. The ASAL region contains 24 million hectares of land suitable for livestock worth Kshs 173.4 billion, with an annual turnover of Kshs 10 billion. However, production still falls far below potential due to a number of challenges that must be addressed if the region is to
achieve the national goals and the MDGs. Some of the key interventions that will be given priority are investing in abattoirs and beef processing units in pastoral areas and investment in hides and skins processing in Northern Kenya. Investment opportunities exist in the following areas;
1. Development of Disease Free Zones,
Under the vision 2030 at least five disease free zones will be established to revive the livestock sector and turn Kenya into an exporter of high quality beef and other livestock products. The project involves eradication on zonal basis of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) with acquisition of the recognition of free status by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Six zones have been identified with the first priority zone being Zone 1 in the coastal region of Kenya and which has a population of 2.7 million persons who rear 600,000 cattle, 200,000 sheep and 1,000,000 goats.
Zoning is a “public good” investment where Government will be the lead agency financing the animal health control and product safety aspects and in creating the right environment for the private investors in the meat and dairy value chains. The available investment opportunities to the private sector include meat and milk production, processing and international marketing of the commodities emanating from the zones.
These flagship Projects are expected in total to have an impact of over 8% GDP growth rate per year. Zone 1 will produce annually an additional 48,000 MT of meat, 5 million of milk and 160,000 hides. The available markets which have indicated possibility of importing Kenya’s meat and Milk, once safety and health conditions have been satisfied, are Israel, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Iran, South Africa, Malaysia, European Union and Allana Company of India.
Kenya has started with Zone 1 in the coastal region and will progress to other regions in the coming years such that all the targeted 5 zones in Kenya Vision 2030 are realized or surpassed.
Some of the major tasks accomplished or on-going in zone 1 include:
a) Zoning proposal development
b) Policy/legal review on zoning
c) Identification of diseases for consideration
d) Cost/benefit analysis of zone 1
e) Strategic Environmental Assessment of Zone 1
f) Rangeland resources baseline survey for zone 1
g) Target disease baseline survey for zone 1
2. Meat industry
Investment opportunities exist in the following areas;
a) Beef processing units to be put up in major production area such as Nakuru
b) And Eldoret in Rift Valley Province.
c) Poultry and Pig processing; at present commercial poultry processing are
d) Almost under monopoly. There is an opportunity to set up a second large scale
e) Production and processing facilities in order to supply chicken and pig
f) Products at affordable prices to the Kenyan consumers and Export market.
g) Game meat; this is a new area, which has a very wide investment scope such
h) As in ostrich farming, crocodile farming among other emerging livestock
i) Opportunities which have proven to be profitable.
j) There is investment potential in deep-sea fishing (for prawns, lobsters, Tuna etc) prawns, farming, fish filleting and fish farming.
3. Animal feeds and mineral supplements
The cattle population in the country is estimated to be over 13 million heads requiring a substantial amount of animal feeds. There is also inadequate and uneven distribution of mineral supplementation. There is therefore potential in production, purification and
packaging of mineral nutrients and fabrication of milling and pelleting equipment.
4. Dairy industry
Production of milk surpasses the demand at peak seasons leading to a heavy loss and shortage during dry spell in the country. In Nyandarua District, there is a potential in investing in processing milk into powder for local market and export. There is untapped potential in goat milk processing in the Mt. Kenya region e.g. Meru and camel milk processing in the Eastern and North-Eastern provinces e.g. Garissa and Isiolo.
5.  Improved Breeding Programme
With increased demand for livestock products in the export market there will be need to improve the livestock breeds to increase the quality and productivity of animals for better prices. This offers investment opportunities in:
i. Breeding materials in poultry production. The ever increasing demand overwhelms the production capacity of the available hatcheries.
ii. Superior livestock breeding materials and breeding services to increase the quality andproductivity.