Market News

Laikipia ranchers warn of job losses

Martin Evans, LFA chair. photo | suleiman mbatiah
Martin Evans, LFA chair. photo | suleiman mbatiah 

Laikipia ranchers and wildlife conservancy operators have warned of job losses and freezing of development funds, in an economy on which they claim Sh3.7 billion was spent last year.

Their umbrella body, Laikipia Farmers Association, (LFA) said members were contemplating freezing funds to various enterprises to stem losses incurred from reduced commercial activity at the exclusive five- and four- star facilities as well as beef production.

It added that about 6,000 people, the annual levies paid out to national and county governments as well as ongoing financing for provision of health and education services were at risk.

“Months of lawlessness threaten these economic gains and unless violence ends, job losses and cuts in funding for social projects are inevitable,” said LFA chairman Martin Evans in a statement.

A survey commissioned by ranchers on 32 properties to gauge contribution of private wildlife conservancies and ranching to the Laikipia community found that students enjoying full secondary, middle-level and university bursaries from proceeds earned from various ventures risked dropping out if the chaos persist.

Laikipia has witnessed property destruction and about 30 deaths after herders drove cattle into some private ranches and wildlife conservancies in the past three months.