Dairy production in Kisumu County has received a major boost following the distribution of 45 dairy cows to small holder farmers over the weekend.
In this financial year, the Livestock directorate has spent Ksh 6.75M from the ward development allocation to purchase the dairy cows.
The distribution of the cows depended on the allocation per ward: Masogo Nyang’oma 12, North Nyakach 8, South East Nyakach 16, South West Nyakach 7, Seme 1 and Kajulu 1 respectively.
The 45 dairy cows purchased and distributed is additional to the 454 cows bought previously from the year 2017.
Agribusiness being key in Governor Nyong’o’s manifesto, the Livestock directorate has endeavored to empower the farmers to upgrade from cattle herders to dairy farmers where there are high returns depending on the effort put in production.
To improve and sustain dairy production in the county, the directorate has applied strategies such as the fixed time artificial insemination on local breed and bringing in heifers to be bred by farmers to give a superior breed in terms of genetic composition and for better production of both meat and milk.
Tapping in to the business opportunities across the entire dairy value chain, the department plans to work closely with the line department of cooperatives and marketing in strengthening the Cooperatives to upscale value addition.
According to the County Executive Member for Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr. Gilchrist Okuom milk production in the county is still not performing to its full capacity. The Osiepe dairy center in Muhoroni is still not meeting the capacity despite owning a 10,000 litters capacity of cooler plant.
” We envisage to work at optimum to improve nutritional status of our people, reduce milk importation and to improve access hence reducing the cost of milk within the county” said Mr. Okuom.
He also urged the farmers to take good care of the cows as they are expected to pass on the calves to other members of their group.
He however put on notice farmers who will not heed to the requirements that the animals can be repossessed and given to another member of the group saying they are like a conditional grant.
The County Director Livestock, Mr. Charles Kakuku on his part affirmed that the mortality rate of the animals is quite minimal.
He reiterated that this has been achieved through training of the farmers on the best dairy practices, carrying out routine tick control, deploying extension officers closer to the farmers , giving cows to farmers who meet the requirements and encouraging farmers to use the call center to access timely required services.
According to the Director, all the 45 purchased dairy cows are in calf of which one has already calved and the rest are expected to calve in the next three months.
By: Mikwa Emily