A week after the county authorities in Kapoeta North launched a new livestock market centre at Riwoto headquarters, Commissioner, Lokai Iko Loteyo says that if livestock production is commercialized will also contribute to the reduction of cattle rustling practices.
He said there is a need to respond to the current hunger situation as he appealed to both state and national government to urgently provide emergency food aid for his community following crop failure in the last harvest.
He said that the inaugurating of the livestock market centre provides a solution for the hunger problem and will change the face of the county.
“If we properly keep our animals and utilize this market to get income we shall not starve. I want to tell you that having our animals we shall never kneel down to beg for food in the future,” he said.
According to a senior official from the Kapoeta based Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), Justin Miteng with funds from the European Union (EU), the SNV along with its partner; Farm Africa facilitated the construction of two livestock markets in Kapoeta region.
The established markets aim to increase physical access and safe ground for commercial transactions by Kapoeta pastoralists.
Mr. Miteng said SNV is working with local authorities to establish livestock marketing system that is aimed at streamlining the livestock marketing practices in the area.
The SNV Advisor, Ms. Violet Masiob says the established markets are under the county management through a market management committee.
“The idea behind these markets is to provide strategic locations in which the livestock keepers including women can effectively negotiate with a buyer without resentments from the insecurity of his or her resources. This increases the bargaining power of farmers,” she said.
According to SNV livestock sales statistics at the counties, the two markets have increased commercial off-take rate from 50 per day (approx. EUR 8, 500) in 2010 to over 300 per day; accruing gross income of at least EUR 51,500 per day in the last 2 years.