Laikipia has been a forte for beef production supplying over 2.6 million kg of meat annually.
According to Laikipia County Statistical Abstract 2020, beef farmers earned over Ksh 740 million. The County
Government has been encouraging pastoralists to adopt modern farming methods such as the feedlot system to
To this end, the county has partnered with Oramat Lenaboisho Cooperative Society by advancing loan facilities to
them to support their cattle fattening activity. They are based in Borana Ranch Conservancy, where they are
provided with grazing land and hosting of their offices. Oramat can handle over 1000 steers through the system
Cattle fattening is a practice of livestock production that reduces the animal movements to enable them to
fatten within a short period of time. The Oramat has adopted this new cattle fattening technique, which has
boosted their members’s earning.
The cooperative has benefited from a Ksh 5 million loan from the Laikipia County Cooperative Revolving Fund.
With the initial loan of Ksh 2 million, they could buy 63 steers, eventually sold and repaid the loan. They
applied for a second loan of Ksh 3 million, bought 90 steers.
Through the fattening process, Oramat Cooperative seeks to address issues as drought and changing weather
patterns in Laikipia North landscape which affects the supply of feeds and water.
The cooperative is adopting proper pasture management to be able to supply the steers with adequate feeds during
the fattening period.
Oramat cooperative has been fattening cattle for a period of 4 years since it was registered as a fully fledged
society limited with 150 members. The cooperative operates on two tiers. One involves them going directly to the
communities to buy steers. The second one has individual community members or pastoralists bringing in steers
for the cooperative to fatten them on their behalf. The cooperative has made a turnover of Ksh 64 million in the
last four years.
Oramat buys steers from six communities surrounding Borana ranch. These communities are Chumvi, Ethi,
Ngarandare, Sanga, Lukusero and Makurian. The weight of the steers is measured, and they note the value of the
animal at this entry stage. They are fitted with microchip tags containing all identification numbers of the
This is important as it helps in identification of steers during payment time or in compensation claims in
case of an incidence where wild animals eat the steer. Oramat Chairman Wilfred Mejooli said.
The fattening period takes six months where at the end, the steers are put on a scale again to measure the
weight they have gained. The payment method that the cooperative uses ensure that the owners of the steers get
80% of the value gain.
The owners also set aside 10% for the insurance scheme. The rest 20% goes to the cooperative to cater to
operation costs involving grass and water management and herders’ salaries.
How the cooperative operates projects ray of hope to pastoralist communities. They see it as a model that
integrates modern rearing of animals, making it a profitable venture business.
We have been able to train our members on how to run cattle rearing as any other business by keepign records,
calculating operation cost. Mejooli said.
The cooperative wants to change how pastoralists communities see cattle keeping. In the future, they will
integrate a feedlot system where more steers will go through the system. The cooperative will be investing in
the establishment of a grass bank and developing of feed formula.