Baringo cultural fair takes off to a great start ahead of the famous annual goat auction

For two days local leaders, professionals, cultural ambassadors and the community come together to not only showcase culture and ecotourism in the region but also promote peace and unity.

#BaringoCulturalFair is a celebration to showcase the rich and diverse culture of communities residing in the county as well as promote tourism offering found at 'land of a thousand views’.

The County is especially keen to profile Lake Baringo as a destination of choice for water sports in the country.

“Thursday is the climax of the fete, where farmers from all the 30 wards in the county will present their goats for sale,” Baringo County executive in charge of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Richard Rotich, said.

Baringo County Governor, Stanley Kiptis is expected to officially open the cultural fair with President Kenyatta and DP leading a high-powered delegation expected to grace the event tomorrow.

For two days local leaders, professionals, cultural ambassadors and the community come together to not only showcase culture and ecotourism in the region but also promote peace and unity among the four major communities residing in the county, the Njems, Ilchamus, the Pokots and the Tugen.

There are several cultural and sporting activities lined up ranging from cultural songs and dances, poems, dress codes, boat competitions with the highlight being the goat auction at Kimalel shopping center found along Kabarnet-Marigat road.

The famed auction was the brainchild of former President Daniel Moi, which he started in 1986, but almost disappeared after he left office in 2002.

President Uhuru Kenyatta reopened the auction in 2013 after assuming office.

More than 2,000 goats from local farmers drawn from across the expansive Baringo County are brought to Kimalel to be auctioned, each fetching  between Sh10,000 and Sh12,000 through competitive bidding from politicians, professionals and businessmen

The auction not only helps in promoting food security and reducing extreme poverty in the semi-arid region but also act as a platform where farmers can network and als learn about best livestock practices such as proper animal husbandry, good nutrition, hygiene and disease management.

According to the County government of Baringo, more than Sh30 million is expected to be raised during this year’s goat auction.

In 2015, a record Sh24 million was raised in less than 10 minutes at the annual auction.

Locals use special kind of boats known as Kaldich, which are made of wood to compete with the winner winning prices and recognition.

During the #BaringoCulturalFair locals and visitors also get a chance to sample the popular and juicy meat at Koriema.

The meat, which is said to be naturally salted, has gained countrywide fame for its succulence thanks to the red soils and the shrubs that the goats feed on in the area.

The picturesque landscape of Baringo County is strategically positioned at the heart of the Great Rift Valley with prominent hills, valleys and escarpments and long meandering roads.

Lake Bogoria National Park, Lake Bogoria hot springs, Lake Baringo, flamingos and the beautiful scenery of the Tugen hills are some of the main tourist’s attractions.

The main sponsors of this year’s event are KCB and National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).

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