Agro input company Elgon Kenya’s newly launched animal health department has entered into a strategic partnership with Netherlands based Interchemie Werken De Adelaar, a global powerhouse in animal health. The partnership makes Elgon Kenya the region’s sole distributor of the multinational products in what affirms the growing confidence of international brands in Elgon Kenya’s operations.
The animal health department has been established to respond to growing market demand for livestock products among smallholder farmers especially those who have diversified into livestock farming.
“We used to get many farmers calling our offices requesting us to consider establishing a livestock unit. And in keeping with our mantra of being a one stop shop for all farming needs we decided to have an animal health department that will ensure that farmers get everything under one roof,” said Mr. Bimal Kantaria, Elgon Kenya Director.
The department is fully equipped with a wide array of animal health products ranging from livestock vaccines to fish supplements packaged in farmer friendly and cost effective sizes and available countrywide through the extensive agro dealer network that Elgon Kenya enjoys.
The company has also trained veterinary officers and rolled them across the country to work with farmers in monitoring the health of their animals and offering timely interventions. This is complemented by a robust online platform that answers queries and allow farmers to make orders at the click of a button.
“We are glad at the shape this new department is taking and the positive feedback we are getting from majority of farmers. Livestock is an integral component of the farming community as it allows for diversification therefore insulating farmers in case crops fail. We strongly feel that it is our duty to provide modern and timely solutions to a sector that continues to make marked contribution to the economy,” Mr. Kantaria added.
Under the arrangement with Interchemie Werken De Adelaar, Elgon Kenya will supply the company’s wide range of products including veterinary medicines, nutritional products, minerals salts, milk replacers, assorted disinfectants among others.
“We are very confident on our cooperation and are looking forward to our joint effort to grow the Interchemie brand into a top position and make the veterinary business an important part of the Elgon company,” said Arnold Kiel the Sales Director at Interchemie werken.
The partnership is timely coming at a time when the livestock sector in the country continue to be buffeted by new and emerging threats that have threatened to wipe the gains the sector has made. The recent outbreak of dangerous livestock diseases including Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia [CCPP], Peste des Petits Ruminant [PPR]. Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia [CBPP] and the foot-and-mouth disease saw major meat markets closed to tame the spread even as memories of previous export bans were rekindled. Lack of timely interventions as government remains overwhelmed by numerous outbreaks even as it grapples with limited resources has exacerbated the situation.
This, despite the livestock sector’s vital space in the country, contributing 40 per cent to the agricultural GDP while employing 50 per cent of the agricultural labour force. More than 10 million Kenyans living in the arid and semi-arid areas rely on livestock for their livelihood with industry players recognizing the role that a vibrant livestock industry can play to reverse the poverty levels and contribute to the nation’s economic growth.
“For a sector as key as livestock, we felt that we couldn’t leave it to government alone. Our fully fledged department ensures that livestock farmers can get services wherever they are across the country and can rely on the advice of our highly trained veterinary officers which we are giving free of charge. Our partnership with Interchemie Werken De Adelaar further rubberstamps our commitment to ensuring that we give our farmers world class products and services,” said Mr. Kantaria.
Arnold further said: “Elgon as a company in the market with a well-established sales and distribution network and our European brand with a wide portfolio of quality products is a perfect match to develop the market successfully. We are convinced that the veterinary medicine products will contribute to the solutions Elgon offers to farmers and clinics in Kenya.”