- We recognise that with cultural attachment to large-scale livestock keeping, there is an opportunity to make the county self-sufficient by embracing value addition, thus the proposal to set up abattoirs and leather industries.
- While the county government is seeking interventions, there is need for concerted efforts bringing together counties in the maize, wheat and sugar producing areas and agricultural research institutions to find solutions to this challenge.
Narok is betting big on adding value to livestock products and diverting flood waters into irrigation. George Sayagie spoke to GOVERNOR SAMUEL OLE TUNAI
So far, have farmers benefitted from devolution?
We have effectively rolled out extension services to farmers. They are also accessing subsidised fertiliser and farm inputs to improve their productivity.
This is aimed at improving agricultural production and making farming more profitable to both large and small-scale farmers.
We have also supplied machinery like milk coolers and tractors and improved technologies like tissue culture, soil testing, provision of drought resistant seeds and improved fishing and aquaculture methods.
We have helped farmers to form and to join cooperatives, which they manage themselves. Through these cooperatives, we organise targeted training and financing based on needs analysis. But this is really just the beginning.
There has been talk for some time now about building abattoirs and leather industries to raise livestock farmers’ earnings and spur employment. How far is this dream?
We recognise that with cultural attachment to large-scale livestock keeping, there is an opportunity to make the county self-sufficient by embracing value addition, thus the proposal to set up abattoirs and leather industries.
But such industrial initiatives must always be carefully planned, sites identified, and partners sought for their set up.
The key challenge we are facing is that resource allocation from the Treasury is not sufficient to meet all the plans in the development plan.
Setting up of such industries as we desire may take a little more time. And it should not be assumed that all desired development can take place within the first five years of devolution.
We will next month host a major investment summit targeted at specific interest areas, and definitely positioning the necessity of the abattoirs and leather industry is in our basket list.
This county is known for the floods that perennially sweep through Narok Town and Narok East. Yet this water can be tapped into producing food. Any plans to do that?