By Nancy Masit
Farmers in Kajiado and Narok counties have greatly benefitted from the beef production training that is offered by the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO)
KALRO has research centres in Garissa county, Trans Mara West in Narok county, Mariakani in Kilifi county, Lanet in Nakuru county (headquarters) and Nguruman in Kajiado county.
KALRO Lanet institute director Mr. Tura Isako said that KALRO is registered by breed society of Kenya and is in also in Stud book.
He added that KALRO is also premier organization created under the 2013 Act to provide focused and effective research on beef value chain.
He revealed that the main objective of KALRO is to support the beef sub sector through focused and efficient support.
‘The beef research Institute provide germplasm for livestock breeds like improved boran for beef, sahiwal and crosses of improved boran with red pole,’ he said.
Tura added that since its establishment, the beef Research Institutes has evolved its research approach to respond to the emerging research challenges like the need for appropriate technologies in beef production focusing on beef breeds improvement, pasture and fodder development, beef finishing, ration formulation, beef and beef products value addition, sustainable natural resource management , socio – economic issues and technology transfer in line with vision 2030 and big four Agenda and under changing climate.
He added that priority research areas have been identified, implemented and strategies for intervention initiated in collaboration with beef value chain actors.
‘ A centre has been established in Lolgorian in Narok county where activities like sahiwal keeping, rearing of red Maasai and gala goats as well as bee production is done,’ Tura said.
He further said that they train extension staff in different beef technologies and that KALRO supplies the two counties with quality breeding stock and quality pasture jermplasm.
‘KALRO’s partnership with counties will improve the livelihoods of the farmers through improved beef production in Narok and Kajiado counties,’ he added.
Mr. Jackson Ole Mpario, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Narok – Kajiado Economic bloc, said that a livestock programme will be introduced to revamp the livestock sector and that KALRO will be a partner in implementing it.
He added that lack of laboratories to test livestock diseases had led to dropped productivity among livestock.
He urged farmers to take their livestock for testing.