Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries And Irrigation
Livestock production plays an important socio-economic role in Mandera County. Livestock accounts for about 90 per cent of employment and family income. The extensive livestock production system and the pastoralist households were previously affected by the recurrent drought shocks.
Before devolution, Mandera communities were highly vulnerable to drought and interventions were minimal. This resulted in huge livestock losses during drought episodes. Today, we can proudly say that pastoralists’ resilience to drought has greatly improved due to improved water and pasture availability and disease control interventions that happen yearly. Besides climate change risks, before devolution, our pastoralists used to lose up to 50 per cent of their livestock to preventable diseases during outbreaks. Currently, animals are routinely vaccinated and treated for diseases minimizing these losses. Additionally, routine surveillance is done to help prepare the pastoralists and the departments in combating adverse diseases that might cause losses in livestock and livelihoods.
Our dream is to transform pastoralism from a way of life to a commercially viable activity targeting the export market . Our objective is to establish a leather tanning industry. That dream is still very much alive and on course.
We have constructed a modern slaughter house at Mandera east and two new slaughter houses at Lafey and Kutulo sub-counties to improve meat hygiene, with a new one just started in Elwak Municipality. One veterinary diagnostic laboratory was renovated to improve the diagnostic capacity of livestock diseases. The department also acquired PPR rapid test kits for testing of PPR in the field. The department constructed 16 cattle crushes with loading ramps to promote of livestock marketing, 4 slaughter slabs, 20 water troughs, 7 underground water tanks for beekeeping were also constructed. Rhamu ESP slaughter house was also completed. At least two Mass livestock vaccination and deworming exercises are conducted every year and in each vaccination exercise about 2 million heads of livestock were vaccinated against various endemic diseases. The sector also constructed one regional livestock market at Garbaqole and one zero grazing unit at Bulla Haji Livestock demonstration farm. The department procured 12 in calf Freshian heifers for training and demonstration to promote dairy production along the riverine. The number of animals increased to 49 in seven years and it became difficult to keep the large number on the farm. The excess numbers of animals were sold off through competitive bidding. The county Government would like to transform the center into a full-fledged Livestock Training centre to improve the dissemination of modern livestock production skills to its livestock farmers and in view of this the county government constructed an office block, classes, staff houses, mosque and a hay store at the center. It Distributed 16,500 bags of drought pellets,2500 mineral blocks,50 bags of mineral protein drought licks and 300 bags of range cubes county wide to mitigate effects of 2019 drought.
Majority of the livestock farmers have continued being poor and food insecure mainly due to low livestock productivity, high cost of inputs and local market inefficiencies. To improve these challenges, 32 camel milk value chain Common Interest Groups (CIGs), 140 goat meat CIGs and 58 Apiculture CIGs were formed and supported to promote the value chains at the ward level. 40 technical officers underwent ToT training on the value chains development who will provide technical support to the Value chain CIGs.
For years, Mandera County has been profiled as a vast wasteland plagued by drought and famine. But that stereotype of an arid land and agriculturally deficient region has been debunked…in a record time of less than five years.
Under the stewardship of H.E. Ali Roba as the first Governor of Mandera, the county has transformed into an oasis of abundance. Governor Roba explains that, “We have turned drought-threatened arid lands into high-impact green farms using irrigation along rivers and water pans to produce food.” The Governor and his team spearheaded a lifestyle change in the region that saw many pastoralists successful adopting small-scale farming, besides increasing the acreage under crop production. Currently, more than 4,600ha of land has been set aside for irrigation farming.
“We have reclaimed an arid land and turned it into a productive farmland. The many lush green farms with a variety of crops, ranging from maize, vegetables and fruits in the county have ensured food security and generated income for locals,” the Governor said. To achieve this historic milestone, the County Government allocated substantial amounts in its annual budgets for agricultural development and to revitalize the sector.
Today, vast tracts of land that were initially populated by shrubs are producing food crops targeting the export market. As a matter of fact, watermelons from Mandera are in such high demand and could indeed be the sweetest on the continent! The county has invested in technology and extension services, and adopted innovative farming techniques, such as the use of greenhouses, drip irrigation and conservation agriculture.
Given the fragile nature of the county’s ecosystem, the Department of Agriculture& irrigation remains alert to the effects of climate change. To this end, the county has embraced technological innovation and management practices that address increased productivity, resilience building and reduced greenhouse gas emission.
- Agricutural Extention Programmes
Programme 1-Agricultural Development Programme
Facilitate the production of food of high nutritive value in sufficient quantity for the population
Sub Programme 1- Crop development and soil management
Increase crop productivity in irrigated and dry land farming through appropriate practices and technologies.
Sub Programme 2 Agricultural market development and value addition
Improve access to markets through infrastructure development, linkages and value addition.
Sub Programme 3 Agricultural extension, information, and research
Increase agricultural productively through effective extension services, training, information and research
Programme 2 -Agricultural productivity enhancement Programme
Increase productivity through the provision of specialized machinery and equipment
Sub Programme 1 Agricultural mechanization and equipment deployment.
Increase land under cultivation and development through agricultural mechanization services -Tractor Hire Service and Plant Hire Services
- Sustainable Food Systems
Objective(s) : WFP and the County Government of Mandera seek to transform and influence County Government institutional structures and food systems in order to achieve zero hunger and build community resilience.
Strengthen county government capacities (skills, institutions, systems and processes) to effectively assess, coordinate, deliver and report on inclusive, effective and transparent programmes for reducing poverty and hunger, including emergency preparedness and response, social protection and implementation of school meals;
Increase access to affordable and nutritious foods by investing in sustainable food production, transformation and consumption, including reduction in pre- and postharvest losses, improving market connectivity and value chain linkages, and enhancing management natural resources;
Strengthen the capacity of communities to better adapt to, withstand and recover from climatic shocks, with keen attention to special groups including women and youth;
Treat and prevent malnutrition through nutrition-sensitive interventions, provision nutrient-rich foods and social behaviour change communication to vulnerable populations;
Identify health supply chain challenges in county government institutions and provide technical support to strengthen capacities (skills and systems) that increase supply chain visibility, reduce stocks out and increase on shelf availability of health products.
Targeted smallholder producers and food insecure, vulnerable populations benefit from more sustainable, inclusive food systems and increased resilience to climate shocks enabling them to meet their food and nutrition needs by 2023.
Graduation along a resilience pathway
Improved household resilience
Enhanced consumption of safe, nutritious and diversified food.
Improved resilience capacities of county and community organizations
The sustainable food systems programme covers 7000 Household with approximately 42,000 members in 40 sites of Mandera West(15), Mandera North (10)and Banisa Sub-counties(15).
The programme has 5 thematic areas:
THEMATIC AREA 1
Strengthening capacity of the county and community to design, implement & manage for resilient livelihoods programming chain linkages
THEMATIC AREA 2
Strengthening & improving food markets connectivity and food supply chain linkages
THEMATIC AREA 3
Emergency preparedness and response/disaster risk management
THEMATIC AREA 4
Enhancing the capacity of county governments to provide support to children enrolled in early childhood development education centres (ECDEs)
THEMATIC AREA 5
Nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions
- Kenya Climate Smart Agricultural Project (Covers 24 counties)
KCSAP aims at increasing agricultural productivity and building resilience to climate change risks with reducing GHG emissions(mitigation) as a co-benefit and in event of an eligible crisis or emergency, to provide immediate and effective response.Implementation Period: 5 years from 16th May 2017
- Upscaling Climate Smart Agricultural Practices
- Strengthening Climate Smart Agricultural Research and Seed Systems
- Supporting Agro-weather, Market, Climate and Advisory Services
- Project Coordination and Management
- Contigency Emergency Response
Funding: World Bank, National Government,County Government
- Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme Phase II(Nationwide)
Focus for Mandera County: Crops, Livestock (Camel milk, Goat meat and Tomato) Implementation Period: July 2017-June 2022
- Productivity of priority value chains increased.
- Entrepreneurial skills of priority VCAs developed and strengthened
- Access to market by priority VCAs improved
- Structures and capacities for consultation and coordination in the sector strengthened
Funding: Government of Sweden/EU, National Government and County Government
An innovative, commercial-oriented and modern agriculture and rural development sector.
To improve the livelihood of Mandera County residents through promotion of competitive agricultural production, sustainable livestock and fisheries production, affordable and quality veterinary services provision and training and adoption of smallholder irrigation that is efficient, effective and sustainable.
Goal of the Sector.
To promote and facilitate production of food and agricultural raw materials, ensure food security, promote agro-based industry, agricultural export and sustainable agricultural practice.
- Gender equity
- Result oriented
- Customer satisfaction
- Development of irrigation infrastructure along River Dawa for irrigated crop production through construction of new structures, as well as rehabilitation of existing structures to improve their efficiencies
- Bush clearing to open more farm land for crop production
- Carried out bush clearing to open up more land for cultivation since (Mathenge) Prosopis juliflora had invaded and colonized most of the farms, especially along River Daua.
- A total of 2,145 acres of farmland were opened up through bush clearing to create more arable land for cultivation.
- Development of water spreading, water harvesting and storage reservoirs for farming in rain-fed areas
- Water spreading structures have been constructed to direct runoff to farms for crop production, especially in areas with streams (laggas). A total of 160 metres of water spreading structures were constructed at Khorjab, Elelani and Girissa.
- One 30m3 of masonry water tank with the required piping was constructed at Neboi Suez Orchard farm to promote fruit farming.
- Eight underground water tanks with total capacity of 948m3 were constructed in Banisa, Mandera West and Mandera South.
- Three water pans of 90,000m3 in total were excavated at Banisa and Dandu with complete provision of farm inputs and irrigation infrastructure.
- Four water pans for water harvesting for crop were de-silted at Khayu, Deka, Khofole and Harharo.
- Four boreholes for irrigated crop production, complete with all accessories, were drilled at Lafey, Fino, Elele and Dabacity and are operational.
- Provision of irrigation pump sets to schemes and farmer groups
- Nine 2/3-piston diesel engine water pump sets were provided for the main irrigation schemes.
- One hundred and four 1-piston diesel engine water pump sets were supplied to group farms.
- Forty portable petrol water pumps were supplied to group farms with shallow wells.
- Procurement of farm inputs and tractors with implements
- Over the last five years, more than 180 metric tons of assorted seeds and seedlings were procured and distributed to farmers countywide.
- Six farm tractors, six ploughs, two harrows and one trailer were also procured for Agricultural Mechanization Services station to assist in farm mechanisation. Two tractors and implements were donated by the Turkish Government.
- Construction of perimeter fence and farm access roads
- Perimeter fences are constructed to prevent farms from invasion by wildlife, which may damage crops before being harvested. Farm access roads are constructed to enable farmers transport farm tools and inputs while carrying out farm operations. They are also important in transporting crop produce after harvest.
- A total of 2,910-metre-long perimeter fence was constructed and 1 kilometre of farm access road was gravelled by the county government in the last five years