Gatarwa Kariuki; Muthoni Mwangi; John Maina; Qalicha Wario; Robert Kaitho
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Global Livestock CRSP, University of California- Davis
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Abstract: Information communication technology, specifically the mobile phone, is becoming an integral tool for development, as there is increasing recognition that information is an important tool in empowering people to make progress both economically and socially. The suite of technologies developed by the Livestock Information Network and Knowledge System (LINKS) project was adopted to develop and implement a national livestock marketing information system (NLMIS) for Kenya. The system was formally launched on July 31, 2007 as a single rich system that provides opportunities to add value by gathering national information and reaching a wide clientele through collective dissemination efforts. The system, the first in Kenya, provides the country with a unified system of information on prices of different livestock species traded in key livestock markets. This brief provides an Overview of the market-based training programs conducted to launch the NLMIS, along with the challenges and lessons learned in its implementation. The authors find that following Introduction of the NLMIS, data collection and uploading were proceeding smoothly in the markets networked, and that a large number of people, both at the offices and in the markets, were able to access the information. The NLMIS is part of the vision for the development of pastoral areas; through improving information flow to livestock producers and traders, they become equipped with the knowledge to make better choices on livestock marketing, thereby enhancing income and livelihoods.