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Kenya plans to promote value addition to leather products   

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya is considering a raft of tax incentives to promote exports of value added leather products, a government official said on Monday.

Harry Kimutai, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Harry Kimutai, told journalists in Nairobi that currently the bulk of leather exports consist of raw and semi-processed leather products.

“We are going to zero-rate imports of tannery equipment so that there is expansion of leather manufacturing in the country,” Kimutai said.

In order to expand local production, the ministry is also proposing to source all military boots for the country’s disciplined forces domestically.

The East African nation already imposes 80 percent duty on exports of raw hides and skins in an effort to promote local value addition.

According to the ministry, animal resources contribute more than 12 percent of the Gross Domestic Product and employ 50 percent of the agricultural labor force.



Kenya to boost livestock vaccination rates to boost exports

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya plans to boost its livestock vaccination rates in order to boost exports, a government official said on Monday.

Kiza Juma Ngeiywa, the Director of Veterinary services told journalists in Nairobi that Kenya has been banned from exporting livestock products to markets such as the European Union due to high prevalence of diseases.

“We are therefore going to boost our vaccination rates for trade sensitive diseases so that we regain our export markets,” Ngeiywa said.

He said that vaccination rates for foot and mouth disease stands at 50 percent of livestock against a target of 70 percent.

Since the promulgation of 2010 Constitution, the role of animal disease and pest control has been devolved to counties governments.

Ngeiywa said that Kenya is still plagued by many trans-boundary animal diseases including Contagious Bovine Pleura-Pneumonia (CBPP), Peste des Petitis Ruminants (PPR) and Contagious Caprine Pleuro-pneumonia.

He noted that whenever the diseases occur, they lead to great economic losses apart from directly disrupting livelihoods of many families particularly pastoral communities.

Kenya currently has the Central Veterinary Laboratories and Foot and Mouth Disease laboratories which are national reference laboratories alongside the six regional veterinary investigation laboratories to aid in the diagnosis of animal diseases including transboundary animal diseases and their eventual control through vaccination and other interventions.


EAC issues radical measures to control Rift Valley Fever

ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The East African Community (EAC) on Friday urged the partner states that are not yet affected by Rift Valley Fever (RVF) to step up surveillance to detect any spread of RVF at an early stage.

Owora Richard Othieno, EAC Head of Department of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, called on member countries to inform the public about the risk and preventive measures.

So far, at least 26 people in two north-eastern counties in Kenya are suspected of having contracted the disease. By June 16, seven of these cases were confirmed and six of the people had died, according to the World Health Organization.

The EAC also urged owners of livestock, people working with wildlife and citizens in the region to be on alert and comply with the following precautionary measures.

“Livestock farmers should contact the veterinary services authorities in the respective partner states for information on vaccinating their animals against RVF and restrict animal movement to limit the spread of RVF,” said Othieno.

Rift Valley fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease that is endemic in parts of Africa. It affects both humans and livestock and spreads through infected blood, milk or the bite of infected mosquitoes.

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