Governors under NOREB agree to open markets

Plans are at an advanced stage to formulate a Trans-Boundary Livestock Disease Control Policy that will assist counties under North Rift Economic Bloc(NOREB) control livestock diseases.

Speaking in Kitale at the governor’s boardroom Friday, governors Patrick Khaemba (Trans Nzoia), Prof. John Lonyangápuo (West Pokot), Josephat Nanok (Turkana) and Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu) said that the joint livestock disease control will boost both dairy and beef farming in the region.

The leaders noted that the measure will impact positively on control and preventive measures of animal disease, which will in turn boost animal business in the regions under NOREB.

The governors also agreed to re-open livestock markets in respective counties following closure due to COVID-19 since March this year.

They said that a lot of revenue had been lost during the closure and resumption will boost their collection and also allow businesses to flourish.

They were however quick to point out that all ministry of health guidelines will be strictly observed and market committees of various counties have been mandated to work with public health officers for compliance.

They urged traders to embrace cashless transactions besides wearing masks and observing physical distance as recommended by the ministry of health.

They however agreed that markets will operate for only two hours that is from 8:00 am to 10:00 am and working with a maximum of 20 animals at a time.

NOREB interim chairman Jackson Mandago however warned that markets that will fail to comply with the COVID 19 guidelines will be closed indefinitely.

They said that they are also working on an e-trade policy that will allow traders to carry out their transactions online.

“It is important for the stakeholders to consider contract livestock production and marketing as this would guarantee supply and market and serve to stabilize prices,” he said.

The closure of livestock markets had adversely affected animal prices with traders in the business crying foul over the effects of COVID-19.