Communities and ranchers urged to live in peace – Kenya News Agency
The government has called for mutual understanding and tolerance between ranchers and pastoralists during the ongoing dry season that is ravaging different parts of the country.
Speak to the media during the 24e International Grassland Congress held in Bamburi Beach, Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Livestock and Fisheries Lawrence Omuhaka said the ranches are legally owned by individuals some of whom are Kenyans and foreign nationals, who pay taxes and contribute the proceeds gross domestic (GDP) which is important for the country.
“The government is a facilitator in doing business, if you have a large ranch and our people are employed there, as long as you are working within constitutional requirements, the government is strongly intervening to ensure that private property is not hampered, ”Omuhaka said. .
The CAS called for peaceful coexistence between pastors and ranchers, adding that some of the ranchers although white in color are Kenyans.
“We need more investors to be able to create more jobs and investments for our people and also to increase the GDP and the income per capita”, he added.
At the same time, Omuhaka also called on pastoralists living near the wildlife grassland areas to coexist peacefully, as they have done in recent years, as the government needs them both in building the economy.
“Over 80 percent of our land is ranch land and grassland, it supports 70 percent of our livestock and 83 percent of our wildlife and approximately 10 million people live in these areas. We urge farmers and ranchers to coexist peacefully with wildlife, ”Omuhaka said.
He said the government has come in time to support and compensate pastoralists whose animals have been attacked by wild animals.
Grassland Congress President Professor Smith Ray said both livestock and wildlife are very important to people and the economy, urging Kenyans to maintain these resources.
The CAS echoed Ray’s sentiments that the government will implement measures from the conference that will make the grassland and ranch land areas sustainable and be able to support the population.
“We are happy to host this conference which is taking place virtually with 80 participating countries. The theme “Sustainable use of grassland and ranch resources for better livelihoods” is in line with Vision 2030 and the Big Four agenda, the main one being food security and nutrition. As a government, we value and embrace whatever is discussed and implement it directly, ”Omuhaka said.
He noted that climate change is a global phenomenon, therefore the congress pays attention to the issues of climate change and has a sub-theme on drought and climate change.
“Kenya is committed to ending drought-related emergencies, thereby setting aside funds that can be mobilized quickly whenever there are drought-related emergencies. As a country, we come up with measures to make sure that we are able to support the economy, ”he said.
He added that Sh2 billion was disbursed by amortizing those affected by the drought.
“The government has piloted and is now working with the private sector to implement index livestock insurance programs to protect pastoralists’ livestock. We recently assured farmers living in arid areas, we are not waiting for the cattle to die but we are giving them funds to buy animal feed, ”Omuhaka added.
He said that other efforts the government has put in place to tackle drought are through the ministry where it has developed the national drought management strategy which aims to strengthen the resilience of communities living in the pastures of the region. Kenya.
By Chari Suche