West Pokot traders, farmers hurt by poor livestock prices

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Livestock farmers and traders in West Pokot county have lamented over poor livestock prices since Covid-19 struck the country.

Traders at Chepareria Livestock Auction said the price of a cow has dropped to an average of between Sh30,000 and Sh15,000 from Sh40,000 and Sh25,000 previously.

Goats and sheep prices are currently trading at between Sh3,000 and Sh6,000. Pre-Covid, they were sold for between Sh6,000 and Sh8,000.

Livestock traders in the region say they make less than Sh500 profit per day due to low sales.

“Meat consumption has generally dropped in the country after the nation was hit by Covid. Many Kenyans are struggling with essential basic needs,” trader David Lomokor said.

Lomokor said that low consumption of meat in urban centres has affected daily sales of most traders in the region.

He said they used to get buyers as far as Mombasa, Busia and Nairobi on a weekly basis. Buyers no longer visit the region, he said.

“I used to cross the border to Uganda in search of animals so that I could meet the demand of my customers,” Lomokor said.

Andrew Wangila, a butchery owner in Makutano town, said pre-Covid he used to slaughter one cow every day. 

“We have decided to come together as three butchery owners and buy one animal to avoid loss,” he said.

Trader Abraham Kiprop said, “Chepareria and Kishaunet are key livestock markets in this region, but we are unable to reap huge profits like we did before Covid struck.”  

Edited by A.N