Brief news on farming and agribusiness developments from around the region

Monday December 10 2018

A rabbit farmer feeds her livestock.

A rabbit farmer feeds her livestock. Livestock diseases have a huge impact on animal productivity, trade in animals, meat and other products and even on human health. FILE PHOTO | NMATION MEDIA GROUP 

SEEDS OF GOLD TEAM
By SEEDS OF GOLD TEAM
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State two firms launch programme to combat livestock diseases.

The government and two global animal health solution providers have launched a scheme to fight cattle and poultry diseases.

The project, which will be rolled out in eight counties next month, was piloted in Murang’a, Kericho, Kiambu, Meru, Trans Nzoia and Narok counties in three years.

It will now be in Mombasa and Nyeri from next month.

The “Last Mile Initiative” will take four years. It was established by pharmaceutical companies — Boehringer Ingelheim and Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines — and is being funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

According to Boehringer Ingelheim director Enrique Hernandez, livestock diseases have a huge impact on animal productivity, trade in animals, meat and other products and even on human health.

“Annual losses to smallholder farmers in Africa from Newcastle disease in poultry exceed 700 million Euros,” he said.

-Leopold Obi

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County, World Bank in bid to improve farming production

The Kisii devolved government has partnered with the World Bank through the National Agriculture and Rural Inclusion Growth project to increase production and profits.

Kisii is one of the 21 counties implementing the project.

Deputy Governor Joash Maangi said the project is important as it leads to improved livelihoods and reduces vulnerability of targeted rural communities.

“This is a welcome intervention in agriculture, considering the high poverty levels among rural communities,” Mr Maangi said.

The poverty rate in Kisii stands at 51 per cent, compared to the national average of 43 per cent.

The region has an estimated 125,000 orphans and vulnerable children.

“It is gratifying to note that the beneficiaries of this project are the youth, the elderly, widows, orphans, the disabled, persons living with HIV as well as those recovering from drug and substance abuse,” he said during a meeting with World Bank officials in Kisii town.

-Ruth Mbula

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Livestock and veterinary service providers invited for exhibition in Zambia next year

Local livestock and veterinary service providers have an opportunity to extend their reach to Zambia, which has called for international exhibitions. Like in Kenya, agriculture plays a key role in the Zambian economy.

Zambia, which will be holding the sixth edition of Agritech Expo at GART Research Centre in Chisamba between April 11 and 13, 2019, expects to attract agri-exhibitors and service providers to boost technology transfer.

Bringing international solutions to the farming community of Zambia, the show aims to attract more than 20,000 farming professionals and 240 exhibitors.

“It is the ultimate business-to-business buying platform for agricultural professionals from small-scale to commercial enterprises, to engage and conduct business with some of the leading suppliers to the agricultural industry,” said a communique sent to Seeds of Gold.

-Leopold Obi