Commercialization and Market Access for Agro-pastoralists in Northern Kenya is sparking market sensitivity by Agro-pastoralists who have been organized into trading blocs known as Commercial Villages. FCI was able to share weather forecasts, warning systems and market information with the Agro-pastoralists in November and December 2016. Agro-pastoralists that heeded to the warnings were able to make a profit of approximately 166% more than their counterparts who are not members of FCI Commercial Villages.

The information enabled the Agro-pastoralists in the Commercial Village to be able to sell their goats and sheep (shoats) before the drought began, at a high price of 4,000 Kenya shillings (USD 40) per animal. This was made possible through FCI Mobilization where they were linked to various traders to be able to sell the livestock. One such trader is Mr. Hussein Mutune. He is a trader who buys shoats from agro-pastoralists in Marsabit County and sells in Nairobi’s Kariobangi market. He benefitted greatly after learning collective sourcing of shoats from FCI under the Tearfund funded Agro-pastoralist Commercialization and Markets Programme in Northern Kenya. He used to source his shoats from individual farmers or from the highly priced local markets denying him vital cash flow to meet normal basic family needs. Mr. Hussein makes three trips in a month, where he trades 450 shoats.

This was made possible through linkage to Commercial Villages and establishment of bulking centres for shoats where CV members would aggregate about 150 shoats per month agreed upon with the buyer. He was able to source these shoats from Agro-pastoralists in Dirib Gombo, Jaldesa, Shur, Boru Haro, Kijiji and Kabale at a buying price of between 4,000 Kenya Shillings per animal. The Commercial Village model and establishment of bulking centres saved Mr. Mutune a lot of money and valuable time spend in sourcing shoats from individual farmers. Before the FCI intervention, farmers were not able to sell their livestock at a profit.

Mr. Adisu Barako is also another trader who buys shoats from agro-pastoralists in Marsabit County and sells in Isiolo and Nairobi markets. He benefitted greatly after learning collective sourcing of shoats from FCI under the Tearfund funded Agro-pastoralist Commercialization and Markets Programme in Northern Kenya. He used to source his shoats from individual farmers or from the highly priced local markets denying him vital cash flow to meet normal basic family needs.

After capacity building by FCI on collective sourcing from Commercial Villages, Mr Adisu weekly sales volume increased from 25 Shoats to an average of 60 Shoats resulting to a 240% increase in monthly sales from Ksh 75,000 to Ksh180,000. This was made possible through linkage to Commercial Villages and establishment of bulking centres for shoats where CV members would aggregate between 35- 50 shoats in a specific day agreed upon with the buyer.

The Commercial Village model and establishment of bulking centres saved Mr. Adisu a lot of money and valuable time spend in sourcing shoats from individual farmers. Before the FCI intervention, Mr. Adisu would source 25 shoats in three or more days but he is now able to source 60 shoats within a day. This ease of doing business has allowed him more time to concentrate on his farm and attend to other family engagements.

Mr. Adisu has not only been ploughing back his profits to grow his business but has also constructed a semi- permanent house estimated at Ksh 48,000 from the profits of his business. He is optimistic to double his returns next year by sourcing shoats twice a week.

From selling to traders like Mr. Husein Mutune and Mr. Adisu Barako, currently the farmers are able to make profits and do savings. This was achieved through partnership with various financial institutions, where the money saved would be used to restock the livestock once the drought ends. 

According to Participatory Market Assessment for Marsabit County by Farm Concern International under the Agro-pastoralist Commercialization and Markets in Northern Kenya, Nomadic pastoralism is the dominant source of livelihood in Marsabit County supplemented by a limited amount of agriculture along the rivers. Pastoralism provides more than 50% of income to three-quarters of the population (FH Kenya Livestock Markets Study, 2012). With this knowledge, Farm Concern International, FCI through the Agro-pastoralist Commercialization and Markets Access programme in Northern Kenya supported by Tearfund aimed at building livelihoods resilience among 4,161 agro pastoralist households through improved production, value addition and trade of select commodities in the Marsabit Sub-county.

 

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FCI VISION : To have commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond