PS Mueke launches project in Kitui to protect pastoralists against drought

Principal Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, State Department for Livestock Development.

The De-Risking Inclusion and Value Enhancement (DRIVE) is a project on resilience that will ensure the improved livestock production in Kenya, the Agriculture and Livestock Development Principal Secretary Jonathan Mwangangi Mueke has said.

“The DRIVE Project is under our Agriculture Ministry. It is a 5-year project covering about KSh16 billion,” Dr. Mueke added. The project is for supporting the livestock farmers in the country, he said. The PS was speaking when he officially launched the programme on April 23, 2024 where the event took place at the Kitui Parkside Villa Hotel in Kitui Town. He was the event’s chief guest. The event was attended by the stakeholders including the farmers.

The Agriculture Ministry had organised the function in partnership with the Kitui County government and the Kenya Development Corporation (KDC).

Earlier in the day, the PS had paid the County Commissioner Kipchumba Ruto and the area Governor, Dr Julius Makau Malombe courtesy calls in their offices. The DRIVE Project is for 21 counties in Kenya mainly the arid and semi-arid counties,” Mueke said. The Kenya’s arid and semi-arid regions account for some 86 per cent of the country’s total land area.

Livestock Development PS Jonathan Mueke (left) when he paid a courtesy call to Kitui County Govermor Dr Julius Malombe.

“We in the country (Kenya) have experienced insufficient rainfalls in the last 40 years,” Mueke regretted. The officer said: “The cooperatives in the country have been important for us. The farmers in the country organise themselves through the same.”


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He announced that the Government had already launched the DRIVE Project in some 12 counties.

“And Kitui is the thirteenth county. Today is the Kitui’s turn to launch the programme,” Mueke said.

The PS encouraged the businesspeople in the country to venture into the livestock trade “for now the market is there for the people to improve their lives through the project.”

“The KDC is going to give our people some funds to start and expand the livestock trade here in Kitui. We want to empower our people. If we take this project seriously, we are going to eradicate poverty here in Kitui,” he said. We came here today to do whatever we are sure it can improve your lives in Kitui, he added. “We the ministry are going to vaccinate all the animals here in Kitui through this project.

We have so many projects that we will bring here in Kitui especially on agriculture. We have many things for Kitui,” the PS told the attendees. The KDC is going to fund our livestock farmers for them to manage the ranches and for the livestock breeding and to buy the livestock feeds among others, Mueke also said.

The PS was accompanied by a team of officials from his office. The occasion was also addressed by the Kitui County Commissioner Ruto, the County Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Development Minister Rose Mawia Mutuku, the County Agriculture and Livestock Development Minister, Dr Stephen Mbaya Kimwele and the County Lands, Housing and Urban Development Minister Fredrick Kimanga among others.

By Boniface Mulu

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