Friday, August 21, 2009

Selling cows cheaply for food

Yes, another story on Kenya, but this describes a good description of the realities on the ground.

The price of cattle has severely dropped, due to the owners of the cows just wanting to sell them for a little food. In some areas of Kenya, cattle farming was very good thanks to the open grassy land. Now, due to a few years of poor rains, and almost none this year, even the cows don't have much to eat.

From this IRIN that we found at Reuters Alert Net, we read more about the price of Kenyan's cattle.

A few months ago, cattle traders in Kiserian livestock market in Kajiado District, southwest of Nairobi, could sell a cow for up to KSh15,000 [US$200], but that has drastically changed.

"There is a lot of hunger; most pastoralists are selling their cattle at the market to buy other foodstuffs," Jane Sayena from Magadi, another town in Kajiado, said.

Four years of consecutive poor rains, experts say, have pushed communities in Kenya's eastern, northern and southern pastoral zones to the limit, finally forcing them to hurriedly sell off their herds for a pittance.

"It hurts to see the pastoralists selling their cows for as little at KSh500 [$6.50]," Sayena told IRIN. "Sometimes [they] cry... but it is better than seeing animals dying at home."

Livestock accounts for 80 percent of household income in some pastoral areas. Since the drought, the pastoralists have tried to cope by feeding their goats wet paper and slaughtering new-born calves to save lactating animals, but most animals have ended up in poor health.

Others tried to migrate to other areas, but the situation has grown worse. In northern Marsabit and Samburu, up to 20 percent of cattle and sheep have died - and the figure could rise to 50 percent if the drought continues, according to the Kenya Food Security Steering Group (KFSSG).

"If I sell even one cow, the children can at least get food," said John Ole Kopito, a pastoralist from Kajiado, which borders Tanzania to the southwest.

1 comment:

SRK Herry said...

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