Saving livestock through technology

By Jeff Mwangi/ Beth Nyaga

A new farming technology has been launched in Marsabit County to help mitigate hunger effects in the semi-arid region.

During the launch of Hydroponic and Aquaculture Technology funded by Kenya Commercial Bank Foundation in conjunction with Miramar International College on Saturday, the locals were urged to embrace the new drought resistance technology to increase food security.

Speaking to the locals during the closure of the one weeks training at Jirima Hotel in Marsabit, Dominic Mwenja the president Miramar International College said if the locals adopt the technology, cases of animals and people deaths due to drought effect will be a thing of the past.

He regretted that about 11 persons and thousands of animals have died due to lack of sufficient food and pasture in the area.

Mwenja said the technology that involves growing of animal’s fodder and vegetables that do not require soil to grow will do well in semi-arid areas where water is insufficient.

“The farming of hydrophilic feeds for animals only require  a made  shade where the seeds are put in a metallic tray and watered and only left for one week to grow and ready to feed the animals,” he added.

KCB Foundation Executive Director Jane Mwangi said the foundation will support the long term project to grow livestock fodder using the smart technology in Kenya Arid and semi-arid counties.

She added the initiate is aimed at providing sustainable solution to the negative effect on livestock that are fueled by escalating drought menace.

“The technology will fully guarantee food security for people and feeds for animals especially in times of drought because the locals can grow vegetable which can mature in six weeks,’ noted the director.

She said Marsabit is the first county they have launched the technology, and noted that they are looking forward to collaborate with the county government to ensure the initiative spread faster to mitigate the hunger effect.

“We are rolling on the projects in 10 pastoralist counties by the end of the year,” noted the director KCB.

According to Marsabit County CEC for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries James Dokhe, the region is livestock bedrock and any agriculture technology to improve food security is welcome.

Dokhe further noted that as a county they have set aside sh.50 million to fight food shortage and supply relief food to affected families.

Saying the hunger effect in the region is alarming, he added they have lost persons and animals where he said 65 percent of the Marsabit population are facing food shortage.

Speaking a pastoralist, Mohamud Abdikadir said a new dawn has come, saying they have been suffering for many years where they lose lives and animals due to hunger.

He called on the National government to collaborate with the county government to move with speed and support the locals to initiate the new farming technology to end the biting hunger that is affecting hundreds of families in county.

Aisha boru a resident from Moyare sub-county and one of the training beneficiary thanked the KCB foundation for the new technology adding that when hunger bites, women and children are the most affect people.

She said that with the new technology, as residents they will be able to cater for their families and alleviate the suffering being witnessed in the county due to drought.