Livestock farmers in Kajiado East Constituency are proactively embracing fodder production as a strategic measure to ensure their livestock’s sustenance, particularly during harsh periods like droughts.

Recent adversities have prompted farmers to acknowledge the importance of securing pasture for their animals, which are their primary source of livelihood. Learning from past experiences, they are now taking proactive steps to mitigate the impact of drought on their livestock.

A survey conducted by the Kenya News Agency indicates a significant shift in farming practices, with many farmers in Kajiado East Constituency now engaging in various methods of fodder production and conservation, a departure from solely relying on rain-fed pasture.

Ezekiel Leshan, a farmer in Oloorsirkon-Sholinke Ward, exemplifies this transition by utilizing recent rains to cultivate lucerne, nappier grass, and sugar graze fodder varieties on his farm. Recognizing the vulnerability of his animals to drought, he emphasizes the importance of boosting and conserving pasture to avert heavy losses in the future.

Similarly, Benson Silei in Poka Kenyawa Ward has adopted paddocking as a strategy for rotational grazing, ensuring optimal utilization of pasture and facilitating natural regeneration of fields.

For those without access to extensive land, like Paul ole Nchake from Embolioi, hay and silage preservation techniques have proven invaluable in sustaining livestock through dry spells.

Dennis Kubasu, a research scientist at KALRO, highlights the increasing demand for fodder seeds among Kajiado farmers, signaling a growing awareness of the need for resilient fodder varieties that can withstand climatic uncertainties.

Through initiatives like the De-risking, Inclusion, and Value Enhancement (DRIVE) project, the government is actively supporting livestock farmers in Kajiado and other arid and semi-arid regions to enhance economic resilience. This includes promoting pasture and fodder production, alongside livestock breeding programs aimed at bolstering livelihoods in these communities.

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