The Star (Nairobi)

17 February 2014

Kenya: Isiolo Receives USAID's Sh2 Billion for Livestock

The United States Agency for International Development has signed an MoU with Isiolo government to fund livestock subsector.

The USAid offered Sh2 billion to boost the subsector that has been underfunded by successive regimes for decades.

Isiolo Governor Godana Doyo said the five-year project will address myriads of challenges faced by the livestock sector and revamp it.

USAid through its partner, Resilience and Economic Growth in the Arid Lands--Accelerated Growth, will channel the funds through the county government to spur economic growth.

Doyo, who led county executives and other senior county government officials in signing the MoU in his office on Saturday hailed the Usaid for their support and pledged to closely work with them in order to improve the livelihood of the pastoralists.

Addressing the press, Doyo blamed the successive government's policy in Northern parts of the region for neglecting the livestock subsector, which is the backbone of the region. He said the initiative will spur economic growth.

Doyo said the government had set up a disease free zone in Isiolo to ensure that livestock are free from contagious diseases.

The governor said the disease free zone will help build confidence and market the animals across the continent.

The establishment of holding grounds at Isiolo's modern slaughterhouse and other neighbouring counties will also help in value addition for livestock and its products.

Regal-AG Chief of Party Cary Farley said the funding will the community's livelihoods at the county level and build the capacity of pastoralists in the counties that will eventually improve the livestock sector.

He said the USAid project that funded the sector is part of the US government's Feed the Future strategy that was aimed at addressing some of the plights of the pastoralists in the Asal area.

Farley said the project will empower the poor to enable them take part in and benefit from sustained growth of the livestock,which is critical to the pastoralists' livelihoods.

"This project will look into improving the environment, expand end market and catalyse commercial investment, improve livestock productivity and promote value chain inclusivity of women and youth," he said.

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