Livestock farming in Kisumu is highly evolving in response to the rapidly increasing demand for dairy products in the county.
It is in this regard that the county department of Agriculture and livestock has embarked on the donation of the dairy livestock to farmers to maximize dairy production to improve food security. The department adopted the Governor’s agenda which aims to revitalize agriculture for food security and agribusiness.
Given the importance of livestock in the economic livelihoods of low-income earners, improvement of livestock production and particularly dairy farming is globally considered a promising avenue for supporting and improving household welfare.
In a bid to reinforce the dairy farmers across the county, the County directorate of livestock embarked on issuing dairy animals and poultry to promising farmers who were carefully selected and were prepared to own and keep the dairy animals’.
About 454 in-calf dairy cows have been evenly distributed to farmers in Kisumu since the year 2017 to date, with the recent distribution of 24 in-calves worth 3.1 million issued to farmers across the 7 sub-counties.
Some of the beneficiaries of the distribution include Seme dairy cooperatives in Seme Sub-county, Seke farmers dairy cooperative in Kisumu West, Kajulu Dairy cooperative in Kisumu East , Ahero farmers dairy cooperatives in Nyando , Osiepe practical Action in Muhoroni and individual farmers including, Samwel Ochieng, Mary ondego and Linet Ouko of South East Nyakach among others.
According to the CEC Member for Agriculture and livestock Mr. Gilchrist Okuom, the County government has invested in Agriculture and livestock production as a way of improving livelihoods.
Mr. Okuom also acknowledges that the department has concentrated on the high potential areas such as South East Nyakach Ward in Nyakach Sub County which he says has presented a positive performance in dairy farming. Mr. Okuom congratulated the Member of County Assembly for southeast Nyakach, Hon. Johnson Guya for the continuous investment in dairy livestock farming through development funds to the benefit of the ward.
The Southeast Nyakach ward has been earmarked as the model ward in dairy farming. Small scale farmers in the area are engaging in dairy cattle, showing prospects in the sector with a vision of becoming competitive through fostering the cooperative society and mobilizing sufficient resources to invest in modernizing and expanding the dairy enterprises.
Dairy farmers are encouraged to focus on the value addition of dairy products and this can be achieved through the formation of cooperatives. It is worth noting that by acting collectively, dairy farmers seek to overcome constraints in the marketing of their products. They need to be assured of a secure market that is real and can be met by dairy farmers cooperatively, establishing their collection system.
The department led by the CEC Member has promised to work together with the farmers to invest more in dairy farming through the donation of the animals and also providing modern technological expertise including Artificial insemination (AI) and other veterinary services
Mr. Okuom affirms that so far the previous herds of in-calves issued to farmers are healthy and he encourages farmers to change from traditional cattle to grade cows as a means to improving livelihoods. “In the face of livestock theft, dairy cattle are the best alternative to the people of Nyakach and also a means to maximizing profits due to its value addition.” Stated Mr. Okuom.
Hon. Guya is one of the MCA’s who has often invested the ward development fund in support of the dairy production with confidence that dairy cattle’s profitability outweighs traditional cattle farming in the area.
The department is hopeful that despite the challenges, Opportunities in dairy farming are more attractive and that the growth occurring in the dairy sector would create demands for supportive inputs and services in knowledge application herd health and breeding.
The challenges experienced in dairy production in the county include limited, untimely support on veterinary and extension services. However, the CEC member promises to strengthen Artificial Insemination (AI) support to dairy farming and widespread extension services that will be available on demand.
Follow-up mechanisms to support the farmers through extension services, monitoring and evaluation have been put in place to help the department in assessing the progress of livestock invested by the county government as a way of ensuring sustainability.
“As a department, we are committed to supporting farmers’ to improve the quality of dairy production” stated Chief Officer Agriculture and livestock Madam Rosemary Raluoch.
The department also invests in improved day-old chicks and Dorpe rams in which youth groups women groups and people living with disabilities have benefited from the over 21,119-day old chicks as well as 35 rams for improved livelihood.
By Matilda Atieno
In the recent past, poultry keeping was done in small scale for subsistence and not for business. Most farmers then kept indigenous chicken which took six months to be ready for the market.
It is in the light of this that the County directorate of livestock production embarked on an intensive promotion of raring improved indigenous chicken, which has proved lucrative to the farmers within the County.
Alice Akinyi, a poultry farmer in Kajulu could not hide her joy when the chicken basket team; a poultry value chain actor visited her homestead on Monday last week to purchase her broilers at a cost of Ksh. 550 each.
She received 200-day old broilers from the County livestock directorate on 24th April this year and had attained table weight just in two months.
“I am happy, I love chicken raring since they mature very fast and you can still engage in other economic activities alongside it. The droppings from the poultry has also enriched my kitchen garden, I don’t buy vegetable from the market anymore” she said
Mr. Evans Gichuru, a resident of Kisian and a second-year student at Maseno University, taking Special Needs Education, deferred his studies due to lack of fees and found a solution when he attended an agricultural meeting held by the County and FAO on poultry keeping. He became a beneficiary of 103- day old chicks two months ago, and are almost ready for the market.
“I decided to keep poultry to raise my college fees. It is a profitable project that any youth can venture into and it is easy to manage” he said.
In a bid to encourage more youths to venture into the project, the directorate also supported PASU youth group in Kaloleni by constructing for them of a poultry cage to the tune of 1.2million, supplied 1,000 day -old broilers each purchased at Ksh. 150, feeds and a deep freezer to preserve the chickens during marketing.
Timon Ogunde the chairperson of PASU youth group in Kaloleni said they took up the project to engage in a profitable business and that in the future they plan that every member of the group will have his/her own poultry and that they will share the proceeds of the same after expanding the business.
Persons with disability are also not left out in this business, Mr. Peter Osano (hearing impaired) received 100-day old chicks two months ago and they are almost attaining the market weight.
“I love keeping poultry for income, I keep many in the village and I thank the county for their support in this project” he expressed in sign language.
The project targets to improve the livelihoods of the women, Youths and the vulnerable across all the sub counties. So far, Ksh 1, 195,350 has been spent to supply day old chicks, to the targeted group in Kisumu central, Kisumu East, Nyando, and Kisumu west sub counties.
The Livestock production directorate has also partnered with the Chicken basket, a poultry value chain actor based in Kisumu to supply feeds, extension services, vaccination and ready market when they attain table weight approximately 1.7- 2kgs within three months.
By: Emily Mikwa
The County department of Agriculture and livestock today issued 24 dairy cows at a cost of 3.1 million to be distributed across the 7 sub-counties.
Speaking during the flagging off of the distribution exercise, the County Minister for Agriculture and livestock Mr. Gilchrist Okuom stated that the county government has invested in Agriculture and livestock production as a way of improving livelihoods.
The County Minister also acknowledged that the department has concentrated on the high potential areas such as South East Nyakach Ward in Nyakach Sub County which he said has presented a positive performance in dairy farming. Mr. Okuom congratulated the Member of County Assembly for southeast Nyakach, Hon. Johnson Guya for the continuous investment in dairy farming through development funds to the benefit of the ward, adding that the Southeast Nyakach is the model ward in the county in dairy farming and promising that the department will work together to support dairy farming in the area.
Mr. Okuom confirmed that the previous herd of livestock issued to farmers are healthy and he advised farmers to change from traditional cattle to grade cows as a means to improving livelihoods. “In the face of livestock theft, dairy cattle are the best alternative to the people of Nyakach and also a means to maximizing profits due to its value addition.”
Hon. Guya was confident that the cows were of the best quality, adding that the dairy cattle’s profitability outweighs traditional cattle farming in the area. He urged the department to strengthen Artificial Insemination (AI) to support dairy farming in Nyakach.
The event was attended by the County chief officer for Livestock, Madam Rosemary Raluoch, County director for livestock Mr. Charles Kakuku among other county officers.
The chief officer stated that the County government is committed to supporting farmers’ to improve the quality of dairy production, adding that the department has put in place a follow-up mechanism to support the farmers through extension services, monitoring and evaluation.
Mr. Akuku also affirmed that the cows are healthy and will be due for calving in the next 4 to 5 months
The team encouraged farmers to focus on the value addition of dairy products through the formation of cooperatives.
By Matilda Atieno
The Department of Agriculture received 20 wash tanks each carrying 500litres from One Acre Fund in a bid to promote hand washing which is one of the key basic hygiene measures during this time of the Covid -19 pandemic
While receiving the tanks, the Chief Officer Agriculture, Dr. Omanga thanked the One Acre Fund for their generous donations led by Mr. David Owino and Lavender Mukhanzi from the Government Liaison department.
He also commended them for the support they have continued to relay to the small holder farmers across the county through financial support to improve food security and economic empowerment.
Dr. Omanga reiterated that their services will still come handy even as the department is currently working on a post flood food security strategy, now that flood victims are gradually getting back to their homes.
On this regard, department is set to provide the people with fast maturing African leafy vegetables seeds for food and for sale.
One Acre Fund is an agricultural service provider with its branch in Kisumu for the past 8years.They currently work with 13, 420 registered small holder farmers across the county to improve livelihoods on food security.
They also provide farm inputs to farmers through loaning which is payable within one year. The inputs totals to Ksh. 134,926,092 these include maize seeds, fertilizers for planting and top dressing, sorghum, pulses, onions, assortment of vegetables and poultry.