President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday December 4, 2018, bought a bull for Sh1.5 million during the inaugural Narok Livestock Show and Auction – to illustrate the potential of grade cattle.
The Kenyan president also urged livestock farmers in Narok to shift to keeping grade cows to maximize their profits.
He said due to advanced climatic changes and shrinking land availability, it is time the Maasai community considered abandoning traditional livestock which are easily wiped out by drought.
“There is no need for someone to say I have 1,000 or 2,000 cattle but when drought strikes, you are left with not even 200 cattle and when you take them to the market you get Sh2,000 or Sh3,000 for each because the cows are emaciated,” the president said.
Maasais are known to keep hundreds of livestock despite their low productivity.
“The time has come for us to adapt our culture to the needs of today,” Uhuru said.
The President urged the farmers to invest in grade cows whose profitability outweighs tenfold the traditional Zebu cattle farmers in the region keep.
“We must adopt new technologies if we are to survive. I have seen modern cows here which if you kept just 100, the profit in terms of cash, milk and meat is equal to that of 1,000 traditional cows.”
Uhuru said there is a ready market for meat and milk outside Kenya, especially in the Gulf and Middle East “but we must improve the quality”.
He told the farmers that keeping a few high-grade cows will leave them with extra land to plant grass and bale it for use during the dry season.