Farm-Africa to Launch 150 Branded Veterinary Stores Across Kenya
Monday, January 31, 2011
More than 300,000 farmers in Kenya will have access to better animal healthcare with the nationwide launch ofa chain of veterinary stores offering standardised medical products for livestock.
Farm-Africa has received funding to establish a network of 150 stores throughout the country over the next four years. The franchise is believed to be the first focused on livestock services created by an NGO.
Over the last 30 years, animal healthcare services in Africa have been hit as funding for agriculture has been cut by donors, despite the vital role livestock play for smallholder farmers, providing meat and dairy products and helping with transport, as well as being sold to raise money.
During a panel discussion on maximising business opportunities in African agriculture on Monday, Lord Sainsbury, the former science minister, criticised policies imposed by the World Bank and the IMF for the reduction in agricultural extension services across the continent, which has left many countries with no services to support farmers. In Kenya, veterinary services were scaled back in the 1980s, which hit services in remote areas particularly hard.
The franchise stores, which will be overseen by Farm-Africa, will be run by local vets or livestock technicians (animal healthworkers who have received some medical training, and are more likely to work in rural communities), who will have undergone a tough selection process to assess their commitment to the communities in which they will be working and to ensure they can maintain high standards across the network.