The (DRIVE) Project De-risking, Inclusion and Value enhancement of pastoral economies is now launched. Officiating the launch of the five-year project, on 13th July 2023, at Naibor in Laikipia County, His Excellency the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya, Hon. Rigathi Gachagua assured the public that the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) Government through the Agriculture Ministry, will take charge of the implementation of the De-risking of drought shocks in all the involved ASAL counties. Gachagua expressed his confidence that this project has a potential to address vulnerability amongst pastoralists in Kenya by empowering them to introduce better livestock and commercial practices.
The deputy president was accompanied by the host of the event, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development Hon. Mithika Linturi and his Principal Secretary for Livestock Develpment, Jonathan Mueke who insisted that the aim of the project is to provide pastoralists with reliable livestock market where they get better value for their livestock by selling more regularly and directly to livestock processors and exporters.
DRIVE is also expected to have a positive impact on enhancing the climate resilience of pastoral communities, addressing climate change and ensuring the inclusion of the marginalized and vulnerable groups such as women and youths.
In Kenya, the project has two components. Component one involves de-risking pastoral production through a package of financial services and component two has the objective of ensuring that pastoralists get better value of their livestock.
The Kshs. 16.1 billion DRIVE project will benefit over 150,000 pastoralists across the Arid and Semi-arid Lands. The state department for livestock development will coordinate the implementation of DRIVE project through Kenya Development Cooperation (KDC), (PTA Reinsurance Company) ZEP-RE and the World Bank Group (WBG). Apart from being the overall project coordinators, the SDLD will also undertake the activities relating to public sector mandate, including; sensitization of pastoral groups, registrations and public education.
DRIVE will be implemented in 21 ASAL counties of Turkana, Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir, Garrissa, Tana River, Isiolo, Samburu, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Baringo, West Pokot, Narok, Laikipia, Kajiado, Makueni, Kitui, Lamu, Taita Taveta, Kilifi, and Kwale.
“It is now upon the counties to work hand-in-hand in improving their breeds in their areas of investments for better livestock products, for commercialization, and marketing” PS Mueke added.
There are 8 state departments to be involved in the implementation of the DRIVE project i.e. State Department for Trade, Devolution, Cooperatives, State Department for Micro, Small and Medium Eterprises(MSME), State Department for Investment Promotion, Among the eight.
Present during the launch were; PS Teresia Mbaika, County governor West Pokot Simon Kachapin, Governor Laikipia County Joshua Irungu, ASAL chair and Governor Garrissa Nathif Jama, KDC chair, and C.E.O ZEP-RE, Hope Murera, among others.