The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) is stepping up its crossing breeding programme in a bid to boost beef production as well as improve the quality of livestock.
KALRO Director-General Dr. Eliud Kireger says the cross-breeding exercise targets livestock farmers in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands and has the potential to bridge the annual beef production deficit of 40000 metric tonnes.
The beef industry is the largest contributor to agricultural GDP in Kenya, at an estimate of 36 per cent; especially in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs), where beef production is the main economic activity.
However, demand for beef has overtaken supply, with the country’s annual beef production standing at 260,000 metric tonnes against a demand of 300,000 metric tonnes.
This has, in turn, occasioned the need for importation. In efforts to boost beef production, the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization is stepping up its crossing breeding programme to improve the quality of livestock. Dr. Kireger says the first phase will target herders in ASALs.
Under the programme over 35 groups from Tana River County will benefit from the beef value chain production training.