Habiba Diba is a livestock trader at the Jirime livestock market in Northern Kenya’s Marsabit County. She is the sole provider for her family of eight, paying for her children’s school fees and other household needs. Habiba has been running a livestock trading business since 2012. However, in 2022, she lost 30 of her 40 trading goats to thieves, almost completely cutting off her income.   

“I lost my source of livelihood, which made it difficult to provide for my family,” Habiba said.

Then, in April 2023, the Feed the Future Kenya Livestock Market Systems Activity and Marsabit County’s Department of Livestock selected 200 traders to receive an economic stimulus transfer. The goal was to stimulate the market by ensuring market actors could resume or continue providing food commodities despite the region’s many challenges, such as drought, the COVID-19 pandemic, and food shortages caused by the war in Ukraine. The Activity, which is funded by USAID and implemented by ACDI/VOCA, assessed the 200 traders to determine their capital outlay and classified them into four tiers.  

Habiba was lucky. Having been classified under tier two, the Activity supported her business with $250 (KES 33,987), which she used to purchase five goats for $200 (KES 27,190). Upon reselling the goats, Habiba earned a profit of $100. Later trading using these proceeds cemented her return to doing business. Habiba re-established her livestock trade. On market days, she can now take 10 goats to sell and earn a profit of about $200.

“The financial support I received from USAID gave me working capital. I can now resume my businesses at a larger scale.”

— Habiba Diba, a livestock trader at the Jirime livestock market

 Habiba plans to expand her business by purchasing more sheep and goats and trading them in​​​​ end markets in Isiolo, Meru, and Nairobi counties.  

Through these efforts, the Activity is reducing the impact of recent price increases on basic food commodities and livestock in Northern Kenya. Communities are becoming more resilient in the face of shocks and stresses. In March 2023 alone, the Activity helped more than 2,000 smallholder market traders re-establish their businesses. 

Read more about cash transfer activities in Kenya.

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Watch a video on how we’re transforming livestock markets in Northern Kenya.

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