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Isuzu boosts transporting cattle to market in expansive Kitui County

 Kitui County Governor Charity Ngilu on September 20, 2021 received five specially built Isuzu trucks for transporting cattle in the expansive county.

Isuzu East Africa’s chairman, Hiroshi Hisatomi, Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu (centre) and Isuzu’s Managing Director, Rita Kavashe, during the handing over of five specially built Isuzu trucks for transporting cattle in the county at the plant’s yard along Mombasa Road in Nairobi. Photo/PAUL MUTUA   

The trucks are part of the County’s Livestock Project initiated to support livestock traders ease movement of animals to markets and the three abattoirs in the county.

The initiative is meant to minimise the hundreds of millions in financial losses incurred by livestock farmers and traders when the animals trek long distances to the markets.

Speaking during the handover of the FVZ Isuzu trucks at the plant’s head office situated along Mombasa Road in Nairobi, the governor said she was pleased for the launch adding that the carriers will be available to traders to facilitate livestock transporting between markets and delivery of livestock to abattoirs like Kenya Meat Commission (KMC).

“Our livestock traders lose hundreds of millions of shillings annually walking cows to abattoirs or markets in an already dry and arid environment. These trucks will ensure animals get to the market in the shortest time possible and in good condition,” Ngilu said.

She noted the difficulties farmers in Arid and Semi-arid Lands (ASAL) struggle with, including loss of livestock due to harsh weather or loss of quality and value during long treks to markets.

Wealth creation

Ngilu said the trucks’ launch writes a new chapter of wealth creation for her county and that it was a game changer in livestock trade as farmers and traders will be spared the loss of approximately Sh3.1 billion annually.

The Isuzu East Africa Managing Director, Rita Kavashe said that agriculture being the leading economic activity in Kenya was also the largest employer.

“As at 2020, more than 83 per cent of Kenyans were employed or earned their living from the Small and Micro Enterprise Sector of which agribusiness still accounts for a significant chunk,” Ms Kavashe said.

The MD acknowledged the remarkable steps that devolution had taken in empowering Kenyans through such county government initiatives.

“It is very encouraging to see how the implementation of the Big 4 Agenda is taking shape in Kitui County. Notably, today’s handover ceremony is a win for Manufacturing and Food Security which are two pillars of the Big 4 Agenda.” Kavashe added.

It is estimated that over 60 per cent of Kenya’s livestock is produced in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) which cover the bigger part of Kenya’s territory, including Kitui County.

The specially built FVZ Isuzu trucks are part of the company’s logistics support program where vehicles are developed with input from customers to suit specialized customer requirements.

The Isuzu East Africa Chairman, Hiroshi Hisatomi, acknowledged the partnership with customers which has propelled Isuzu to the top as a local vehicle assembler.

“We have designed purpose-built vehicles that can be fitted with cooling equipment for transporting perishable commodities including meat products and horticultural produce (Cold Chain Solutions), vehicles for Kenya Power, tea leaf transporters and much more.

Therefore, the design and production of cattle carriers is yet another demonstration of our flexibility and proficiency to logistically support our customers according to their needs”. Hiroshi said.

The Governor and her team were taken on an extensive tour of the Isuzu East Africa Assembly Plant situated along Mombasa Road before taking charge of the new cattle carriers for Kitui County.

More than 1,000 cows, goats and sheep trek daily across the county, resulting in loss of weight, reduced value and poor-quality meat.

A trekking cow loses approximately 20kgs as it produces high adrenaline, making the beef acidic, tough and losing flavour.

The launch was also attended by the Trade County Executive Member, Esther Kilonzi, her Chief Officer Richard Muthoka among others.  


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