Enhancing access to animal healthcare services in Nakwejit, West Pokot County

By Jared Okwach – Monitoring and Evaluation Manager

For many years, pastoralists in the outskirts of Kacheliba sub county have been depending solely on the county government’s extension services for their veterinary service’s needs. While these services have been made available; the ease of accessing affordable and reliable vetagro services have been hampered by the terrible terrain and the vast distances required to be covered by the government agricultural extension workers in the area. Unfortunately, the option of private agrovet services was still a mirage since there was a general perception that communities there were too poor to afford animal inputs and the sourcing base was far away in Makutano town.

In 2016, Peter Lonyangat, an informal agrovet service provider established a small agrovet (Ndovu Agrovet) to meet the growing demand of animal inputs supplies. He had identified the need for many pastoralists to access animal drugs, so he aimed to serve the Nakwejit sub location. Sourcing for the animal drugs became a challenge for Peter since wholesale animal input suppliers were mostly based in Makutano, 70 kilometres away. It took a whole day to travel to Makutano and back hence make the trip twice a week to stock up his shop and would only sell what was available before the next stock. This meant that he was not likely to meet urgent requests of his clients and only stocked drugs that had longer expiry dates.

In 2020, AgriFI programme supported Paves Vetagro to set up an input supply outlet in Konyao area. Through Paves’ last mile strategy in the supply and distribution of input supply, it made economic sense to link large agrovets to smaller ones at the grass root levels since this promoted enhanced access of affordable quality drugs to the pastoralists while establishing sustainable businesses.

Paves products at the Konyao outlet.

Today, just like other agrovet owners in the sub county linked to Paves Vetagro, Peter has been trained on agrovet management and is guaranteed of timely access to stocks at the Konyao Paves Vetagro outlet which is less than 8km from his shop. He also has access to credit facility to ensure that enough stock to respond to his clientele requests on time. He now spends less than two hours to access the stock rather than the whole day he was used to before. His transport costs have reduced tremendously from Kes 3,000 to Kes 500 per trip. With the ease in access and reliable supply, his clientele base has increased from 50 to 200 pastoralists during the market days and his sales have increased from Kes 2,000 to Kes 20,000 on a bad day and at least Kes 10,000 per day on a rainy season. The animal selling prices have also improved with reports that: on average, pastoralists now fetch up to Kes 30,000 for cattle, compared to Kes 8000 in 2016. However, he singles out less cases of expired drugs as the biggest impact the of the Paves Vetagro last mile strategy in Nakwejit sub location.

The new Paves Vetagro Ltd outlet at Konyao, West Pokot County.

As Paves Vetagro continues to hold field promotions at the community level to enhance knowledge on identification of diseases, quality drugs, and drug administration and handling, Peter is now able to advice his clientele on drug administration with more focus on correct dosage while observing the expiry dates of the products. While he is now able to stock drugs with short expiry dates, he is planning to acquire refrigeration facility to enable him stock up vaccines which are now on high demand in the area.

Paves Vetagro’s last mile strategy has greatly enhanced access of affordable animal health products and improved the pricing of animals hence increasing the income of the pastoralists in Kacheliba sub county.