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Kenya ministry to intensity vaccination to boost livestock exports

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya plans to intensity vaccination efforts in order to boost livestock exports, a government official said on Thursday.

Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Principal Secretary Dr Andrew Tuimur told Xinhua in Nairobi that all major lucrative overseas markets including the European Union has imposed stringent health conditions for livestock products entering their countries.

"Kenya has rolled out an ambitious vaccination campaign to ensure that the country is declared free of common livestock disease such as the foot and mouth disease," Tuimur said.

"We are currently working closely with the county governments and hope that Kenya will have disease free zones in the next one year," he said.

Livestock earmarked for export will have to be quarantined in the disease free zones before being sent overseas.

Kenya is currently only able to export livestock to the Middle East and Mauritius.

Early this year, the East African nation launched an oil based foot and mouth disease vaccine that is more effective compared to the water based vaccine.

Tuimur said that for Kenya to become disease free it will have to cooperate with its neighbors as pastoralists move freely across the borders.

"We plan to heighten surveillance and monitoring in major border points," he noted.

The PS said that Kenya has enormous potential in the livestock sector which is yet to be fully exploited.

Government data indicates that Kenya has 17 million cattle, 28 million sheep and 2.8 million donkeys.

Tuimur said that the livestock sector which is concentrated in the arid and semi arid areas, contributes about 12 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.


Kenya to develop preferential scheme for small-scale farmers

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya is developing a preferential scheme for small scale farmers in order to boost their incomes, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

The Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Willy Bett told journalists in Nairobi that when the scheme is fully operational it will require that every public procuring entity to ensure that at last 30 percent of its procurement value every financial year is allocated to smallholder farmers.

"This scheme will transform the incomes of small scale farmers given that national and county governments procure food items worth over 150 million U.S. dollars annually," Bett said during a workshop on strengthening smallholder farmers’ production.

Currently, small scale farmers are not recognized by public procurement law as they are not organized as legal entities. A multi-sectoral taskforce is currently finalizing the development of the scheme.

"We will then present the draft scheme to Cabinet for review and approval," Bett said.

He added that implementation of the scheme should begin early next year.

Data from ministry of agriculture indicates that small holder farmers account for 75 percent of the total agricultural output and 70 percent of all marketed agricultural produce in the country.

The CS said that despite the significance of small scale farmers to the economy, their earnings remain very low.

Bett said that low productivity levels in agriculture is attributed to a number of factors including high cost of inputs, poor husbandry practices as well as over-dependence on rain fed agriculture.

African farmers get professional training in Indonesia

JAKARTA Indonesia (Xinhua) -- Twelve farmers from 11 African nations have embarked on a training program within South-South cooperation in Indonesia to enhance their professional skills.

The program, sponsored by Indonesia and entitled "International Training on Agriculture for African Countries," was held in Kuningan, West Java province.

Niniek Kun Naryati, acting director general for information and public diplomacy section at Indonesia’s foreign ministry, said the program is part of the nation’s capacity building commitments for African countries.

The 12 farmers are from Zimbabwe, Angola, Ethiopia, Gambia, Madagascar, Sudan, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Nigeria and Namibia, and they will learn how to manage rice fields from planting the seeds to the harvesting techniques.

Indonesian experts will also teach them skills related to planting and processing corn, coffee and cassava in the program.



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