, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 24 – Five counties from Northern Kenya are set to benefit from a Sh4.5 billion program by the US Government, dubbed the Livestock Market Systems.
US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec says under the Livestock Market Systems program, pastoralists will receive grants, undergo vocational and technical education, business support services, and policy expertise to expand and diversify economic opportunities.
The five-year project funded through the US Government’s “Feed the Future program” will strengthen market systems in Northern Kenya in an initiative that will benefit more than 240,000 households in Garissa, Isiolo, Marsabit, Turkana, and Wajir counties.
A total of 94,000 households in the five counties have already benefitted from USAID’s investments to support pastoralist communities to cope better with and recover from climate-related stresses.
“The US Government is committed to unlocking the full economic potential of the ASAL counties. We will continue to support the trade of livestock, livestock products, pasture and fodder production, and fishing,” he said.
Ambassador Godec spoke on Wednesday when he opened the Lodwar livestock market in Turkana County that was upgraded to the tune of Sh38 million.
He said the improved structures and facilities will spur economic growth in the livestock industry and create wealth, employment and resilience within the community.
Ambassador Godec emphasised that support to entrepreneurs and local businesses are a key component of Feed the Future, the United States Government’s global hunger and food initiative.
The initiative works to reduce hunger and poverty, increase social stability, and build strong foundations for economic growth through strengthened social, economic, and environmental resilience.
The Lodwar Livestock Market was built through the Resilience and Economic Growth in the Arid Lands-Accelerated Growth (REGAL-AG) program and the water system for this market was constructed under the Kenya Resilient Arid Lands Partnership for Integrated Development (Kenya RAPID) program.