Traders cash in on drought to sell hay


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Business people in Samburu have capitalised on the ongoing drought in the region and reaping huge profits from the sale of hay to pastoralists.

Herders desperate to save their animals have now turned to hay to feed their starving livestock and those supplying it have come in handy.

For over three months now, pastoralists have been traversing the vast region, into the neighbouring counties in search of water and pasture for their animals.

Shop owners have quickly diversified their businesses, stocking hundreds of bales of hay which they are selling to pastoralists within and from outside Maralal Town. caught up with Lucy Gathoni in Maralal Town who revealed that she has received clients from the remote parts of Samburu North, Samburu East and Samburu Central.

“Currently we are receiving orders from as far as Baragoi, Suyan, Wamba, Soradoru, Loosuk, Kisima and Suguta Marmar which are then sent to various customers for their livestock,” she said in an interview.

A bale of hay is selling at Sh350.

But some shop owners have taken advantage of the situation, hiking the price to as high as Sh400.

Most clients use lorries, Land Rovers and minibuses to ferry people to various destinations to transport their stock.

Boda boda rider have not been left behind, coming in handy to offer transport to various destinations.

“In a day I can transport around 80 bales to various areas of Maralal and its environs depending on the orders I am given.

“Sometimes this depends on the number of livestock someone has,” one of the riders, Mr Simon Wambugu, told Nation.

On Monday, we met Mr Wilson Kipkorir, a truck driver who had travelled 651 kilometres from Eldoret to deliver hay to business people in Maralal.

He disclosed that he makes around three to four trips to the county every week.

“Demand has gone high and a number businessmen have travelled from Nyahururu, Nakuru and Nairobi. We have several lorries making several trips to Maralal,” he said.

Eldoret and other parts of Rift Valley counties are said to be among the leading suppliers of hay in northern Kenya.

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