KENYA –  Kenya has launched a Multi-Stakeholder Platform (MSP) as the government plans to develop a Center of Excellence in Feed Technology Training to enhance its feed and livestock sector.

This initiative comes as the country recognizes the pivotal role of the livestock industry, which contributes substantially to the nation’s GDP and employs over 50% of the agricultural labour force.

Under the Resilient African Feed and Fodder Systems (RAFFS), the project is designed to address challenges within Africa’s feed and fodder sector.

During the launch, Ms. Halima Nenkare, the Director of Livestock Production in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development announced the government’s plan to establish a Center of Excellence in Feed Technology Training, which will provide training opportunities for stakeholders in the feed and fodder.

Ms. Nenkare outlined the government’s commitment to establishing a modern Feed Resource Center equipped with advanced laboratories to ensure the safety and integrity of animal feeds.

She added that the state roots for strict quality control measures, which will be implemented to safeguard the health and well-being of livestock, alongside efforts to promote irrigation technology to reduce dependence on rainfall.

Additionally, measures such as the finalization of the Livestock Bill, feed regulation, and the implementation of the Feed Industry Development Strategy are underway to support these efforts, emphasizing the necessity of collaboration among key stakeholders.

According to experts, market failures have resulted in inadequate storage and transportation infrastructure, limited market access for smallholder farmers, and inefficient distribution systems, leading to significant economic losses.

To overcome these challenges, investments are crucial in storage facilities, logistics, transportation networks, and empowering small-scale farmers through capacity building, market linkages, and access to finance.

The MSP aims to foster coordination along the value chain and address challenges encountered by the livestock sector, playing a vital role in enhancing collaboration.

Focus on capacity building in the feed sector

Moreover, the government plans to invest in capacity-building programs for stakeholders in the feed value chain and improve data availability and accessibility through National Feed Outlook Surveys, facilitating informed decision-making and resource allocation.

However, financing for the entire livestock ecosystem, including upstream activities like fodder production, remains a challenge.

George Macharia, General Manager of Food & Agriculture at Equity Bank, stressed the need to strengthen upstream financing to enhance the resilience of the livestock industry, emphasizing the importance of a clear business case and strong governance structures.

According to him, overcoming these obstacles requires advocacy for the commercialization of fodder, dialogue to raise awareness and demand for financing, and educational initiatives to bridge the knowledge gap within the sector.

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