Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu has announced plans to acquire lorries for transporting livestock in the county.
According to a statement released on Sunday, April 18, the governor said the move is aimed at reducing the animals’ weight loss due to trekking.
“Kitui loses KSh 3.1 billion annually as a result of our livestock trekking daily from soko to soko in search of better prices. Over 1,000 animals trek daily across the County from soko to soko resulting in loss of weight, reduced value, and poor-quality beef,” she said.
According to her estimations, a cow loses 20 kilograms a day when being taken to the market. Therefore, 1,000 animals trekking daily lose approximately a total of 20,000 kilograms of beef.
“Considering that each kilogram has a market value of KSh. 500, it means Kitui loses KSh. 10 million daily… Every week therefore we lose KSh. 60, million”, she explained.
A number of Kenyans welcomed the move to introduce the livestock trucks help farmers to safely and quickly transport their animals to various markets.
However, some felt that the governor’s figures were highly exaggerated as other wondered how the lorries will be managed.
“I am waiting to see how it will work considering that we have many households a cross the county who would like to ferry their animals to the market on the same day,” said Kioko Jackson.
Other Kenyans felt it would have been better to build a modern slaughter house in the county to give more value to the livestock farmers and traders.
A month earlier, Governor Ngilu made an impromptu visit to the barely functioning Kitui slaughter.
“My intention was to find out what the current working conditions were like; conditions that I have established are slow, crowded, and ineffective.,” she said on March 15.
She later said that renovation works, to mechanize the facility to boost output and health standards, were set to begin as soon as possible.