The famous Kimalel Goat Auction reopens on Friday in Marigat district.
The auction flourished in the 1990s during the Kanu regime, but gave way to weeds after the party was swept off power in 2002.
President Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and retired President Moi, who was among pioneers of the auction when he was in power, are expected to attend the reopening of the livestock market, which has been rebranded the Kimalel Cultural Fair and Goat Auction.
The event will take three days beginning tomorrow to December 21. More than Sh24 million are expected to be generated.
Each of the 30 wards in the county would put 100 goats on sale. Each animal is expected to fetch Sh8,000 through rounds of bidding.
Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi on Wednesday said former MP Ezekiel Barngetuny, who was the auctioneer in the 1990s, was among the expected leaders. “We have planned a series of activities before the auction,” he said.
He further said that to ensure the sustainability of the project as opposed to being a one day affair, camps will be set up in the area where people will visiting the area to relax as they tour the bewitching scenery of the county and sample the famous Koriema meat.
“This is a community driven initiative to showcase culture, provide business opportunities and expand livestock markets. The occasion will also be a climax of the celebrations of Kenya at 50,”explained the governor.
Mr Cheboi said that since livestock is the key economic mainstay of Baringo County, slaughter slabs will be set-up where the meat will be sold to other counties, which will also create employment.
He also added that plans to help farmers upgrade their animals through Artificial Insemination (AI) at affordable rates were underway.
The county government is reviving the famous goat auction which collapsed when the former president and other Kanu heavyweights relinquished power in 2002.
Livestock farmers have welcomed the initiative as a step forward.
Jackson Songol,50, recalls vividly the last auction in 2002 when he pocketed more than Sh200,000 after selling 50 of his goats during the auction.
“We were very rich by then. Besides enjoy a sumptuous Christmas, we could cater for our family’s needs like school fees without any difficulty besides saving some money for future use,” said the father of five.
By the time it collapsed, the project which was started in 1986 and aimed at improving the livelihoods of Baringo County residents had seen more than Sh50 million raised from the sale of about 31,863 goats, 2,518 sheep and 180 cows.