With agriculture being one of the main economic activities carried out in Kwale County, the county government has invested in several agricultural projects with a view to guaranteeing food security, poverty reduction and job creation.
County statistics indicate that at least 85 percent of farmers in Kwale rely on subsistence farming, a factor that necessitated the county government under the leadership of Governor Salim Mvurya and his Deputy Fatuma Achani to come up with sustainable agricultural programs in crop, livestock and fish production sub sectors respectively.
In the livestock production sub sector, the county government of Kwale through the Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Development has maintained a livestock distribution program, where selected farmers from across county have been receiving hybrid beef and dairy cows, and goats.
According to the County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture Joanne Nyamasyo, a total of 479 hybrid bulls and 2,675 he-goats have been distributed so far to farmers. These breeds are given out for the purpose of crossbreeding the local meat breeds.
“Over 3,000 cows and 20,000 goats have been bred from the distributed breeds, and this has in turn increased meat production in Kwale county and boosted the economy of farmers,” Nyamasyo says.
As a result, the county leadership also invested in the construction and renovation of Mwangulu, Kinango and Mwakijembe livestock markets, and in upgrading of two slaughterhouses among them the Pungu abattoir in Matuga Sub County.
The county government of Kwale has also distributed 466 beef cattle breeds to farmers, a program that has benefited over 544 farmers across the county. Under this program farmers pass on their first calves to other farmers to benefit too.
“This has increased milk production in the county, and compelled Governor Mvurya and his deputy Fatuma Achani to invest in the construction of milk collection centres. One of the centres is at Mwangwei,” Nyamasyo explains.
With all these projects successfully implemented, the county government of Kwale saw the need to come up with strategies to help solve challenges facing farmers such as livestock diseases, hence it constructed a total of 31 cattle dips that are distributed across the 20 wards.
The government has also employed enough Livestock Officers who assist farmers at grass root levels and train them on modern techniques. The officers carry out exercises requiring technical know-how such as artificial insemination, vaccination and inoculation.