The Role of Livestock Information
There is a general consensus among stakeholders in the livestock sub-sector is that there is lack of, and a need for livestock market information, particularly in the pastoral areas. Information is critical for decision making, especially when assessing risks. Livestock market data are useful for different groups including producers, traders, researchers, policy makers and other service providers. While there has been an emergence of organized market information development over time, particularly in relation to prices at terminal markets, there is inadequate information on price and volume of livestock at more remote secondary and tertiary markets where pastoralists trade livestock.Livestock marketing in Kenya is dominated by middlemen or cartels who manipulate livestock producers through price distortion. This has resulted into low earnings for livestock producers. In response to this problem, the National Government, in collaboration with County Governments and other stakeholders, has developed the NLMIS to provide timely, reliable and cost-effective market information which will enhance the capacity of producers and traders to anticipate and plan for their livestock business transactions. Policymakers and researchers will make use of the information as an integral component of their planning processes as the countries strive to improve the capacity of the livestock sub-sector to contribute to enhanced livelihoods and improved economic growth. It is anticipated that NLMIS will be linked with the regional IGAD platform to facilitate external trade.