Livestock farming is a great business in Isiolo County. Over 80% of the residents depend on livestock for livelihood. Isiolo population is made up of the Borana, Somali, Ameru, Samburu, Turkana and Rendille communities. The Borana are the majority. There are 15 markets for livestock around the county. The 2009 Housing Census report indicates that there are 3 million camels in Kenya.
The setting up of an Abattoir as part of LAPPSET PROJECT has created new opportunities in Isiolo County. The county will be able to export meat products to the rest of the world. Isiolo County government is planning to create a buffer zone to control livestock diseases.
Advantages of Rearing Camels in Isiolo
- Camels’ volume of milk is six times that produced by indigenous cattle breeds
- Camels water consumption is lower compared to that of cattle and other livestock
- Camels easily cope with the arid and semi-arid conditions
- Camels contribute towards food security
- Used as a natural health product for treatment of diabetic patients in Kenya and internationally
There are many challenges facing camel raring. This include: livestock rustling, neglect from policy makers and researchers.
Isiolo Women have formed self help groups to sell their milk in Isiolo town and transport the rest of the milk to Eastleigh in Nairobi. One litre costs Ksh. 200 in Nairobi or Ksh 150 in Isiolo town. It is a big business. The main production areas include Archers Post and Mulango in Isiolo.