More than Sh30 million is expected to be raised at this year’s Kimalel goat auction in Baringo County on Thursday.
The annual event will be on for two days. Wednesday has been set aside for the showcasing of the diverse rich culture of the people and sports activities — including boat riding in Lake Baringo, commonly known as kaldich — and youth talent and culture enterprise.
“Thursday is the climax of the fete, where farmers from all the 30 wards in the county will present their goats for sale,” Baringo County executive in charge of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Richard Rotich, said.
A high-powered delegation, including President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto, is expected at the event, officially known as Kimalel Cultural Fair and Goat Auction.
The main sponsors of this year’s event are KCB and National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).
Mr Rotich said the fair is expected to diversify tourist attractions in the county — which has Lake Bogoria National Park, Lake Baringo, hot springs, flamingos and the beautiful scenery of the Tugen hills.
Each of the more than 2,000 goats expected to be sold at the auction is estimated to fetch between Sh10,000 and Sh12,000 through bidding.
Mr Rotich said local communities — the Tugen, Ilchamus, Pokot, Turkana, Endoroi, Kikuyu and Nubians — have put up traditional huts next to the auction site to display traditional artefacts, attire, cuisines and dances.
On Tuesday, the county was expected to host more than five principal secretaries from the Cooperative, Trade, Social Security and Tourism ministries in a bid to look into ways of boosting tourism in the region.
The popular Koriema meat, which is said to be naturally salted, has gained fame for its succulence thanks to the red soils in the area and the shrubs that the goats feed on.
Baringo is commonly referred as the ‘Goat County’, and visitors normally make a stopover at Koriema shopping centre on the Kabarnet-Marigat road for a bite of the unique delicacy.
Camps will be set up with “choma zones”, where guests can sample Koriema meat, Baringo Governor Stanley Kiptis said, adding: “Plans are at an advanced stage for us to do value addition on our livestock products.”