County Government to spend Ksh. 58 million to boost dairy farming
Kirinyaga County Government will spend Ksh. 58.5 million to support dairy farmers in the county during the current financial year. The support will go towards the purchase of milk processing equipment, power backup generators, a milk tanker and supporting Artificial Insemination (AI) services.
Governor Anne Waiguru has said that through a partnership of the County Government and the National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP) project, 62 dairy farmers groups have been supported with Ksh. 31 million for improvement of dairy cattle breeds through artificial insemination and on-far m feed formation and silage making. This project will impact about 1550 households.
Improving the county’s cattle breeds, which will be done in collaboration with the Kenya Animal Genetic Resources Center (KAGRC), will enhance milk production and ensure that dairy cattle have a stronger immune system. “The ultimate goal of this program is to ensure that farmers increase their milk production and get more value from it so that they can uplift their living standards.” Said the governor.
She noted that the county was aiming at increasing milk production from the current daily average of 4 liters per farmer to about 13 litres which she said would be made possible through improvement of the existing cattle breeds. The governor added that another Ksh. 27.5 million will go into installation of semi-automated yoghurt production units for Rung’eto and Kirima Dairy Farmers Cooperative Societies, installation of a 150KV power backup generator and its housing for Podago Dairy Farmers Cooperative Society and procurement of a10,000 litres milk hauler for Rung’eto Dairy Farmers Cooperative Society.
She said that the yoghurt production equipment will have the capacity of processing about 500 liters daily which will go a long way in ensuring that farmers add value to their milk for better returns. The power generator will ensure seamless operations for the beneficiaries in the event of electric power failure while the milk hauler will enhance efficiency in transportation of milk.
Kirima Dairy Cooperative Society Manager, Beth Kariuki, has said that the support will go a long way in enhancing productivity of the society. She said that once they get the yoghurt production unit, they will be able to upscale their yoghurt production to commercial levels. Currently the society has a manual yoghurt production equipment which can only produce a maximum of 100 liters of yoghurt per day, which is just enough for internal consumption.
The manager said that the equipment will enable them add value to their milk which will in turn translate to better earnings for the farmers. “Improved returns will act as an incentive to farmers and make them add more dairy cattle to increase milk production for more income.” She said.
Governor Waiguru said that in the last three years, the county government has supported the dairy sector through installation of milk cooling machines for the dairy cooperative societies as well as offering the required technical extension services to farmers.