I05 dairy cows have been distributed to the local farmers in an effort to boost milk production within Kisumu County.
This is part of the County Government’s commitment led by the department of Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and fisheries to have a vibrant food, and nutrition secure county.
Being cognizant of the benefits of innovative and commercially oriented agriculture, the initiative is also geared toward transforming the local farmers from cattle herders to commercial farming. Which is part of the Governor’s 10-point transformative agenda to revitalize agriculture for food security and agribusiness development in the county.
In this financial year the distribution of cows has been as follows: Chemelil / Tamu Ward 37, Muhoroni/ Koru Ward 18, North Seme ward 12 with the latest batch of 38 cows distributed yesterday in South East Nyakach Ward at a cost of 16M.
Other Wards in the pipeline include: Kajulu, Central Kisumu, Kisumu North, and South West Nyakach
The launch of the Nyabondo Cooperative Society, brings good tidings to the farmers who will be empowered to streamline their milk marketing, and also have bargaining power for farm inputs and equipment at a subsidized rate.
Speaking while presiding over the official launch of the Cooperative Society, the CECM for Trade, Energy and Industrialization, Mr. Dixon Obungu commended the area residents for the hard work and determination among the farmers
He challenged the Cooperative members to make the newly formed Nyabondo Cooperative a model cooperative society where neighboring counties can come to learn the best practices such as extension services, hay production and veterinary services.
He added that the society is an initiative by the government to economically empower the members to improve their livelihood.
According to the County Director for Cooperatives madam Susan Kanga, the county now has five cooperative Societies including Seme, Seke, Kajulu, Muhoroni and the newly formed Nyabondo Cooperative society.
She emphasized that the Cooperative Societies are formed to streamline the sale of milk for its members, contribution shares, and to assist them access the animals feed at a subsidized cost.
Concerning animal feed, she implored on the members to increase their monthly share contributions to enable the cooperative society buy feeds and sell to the farmers at a subsidized rate.
On budget allocation, she said 5million has been allocated for Cooperative societies where they can access credit facilities at an interest rate of 6.5%.
Speaking during the distribution exercise, the CECM for Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr. Gilchrist Okuom stated that the county government has invested in Agriculture and livestock production as a way of improving livelihoods.
The County Minister 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 South East Nyakach, Hon. Johnson Guya who was present during the exercise, for the continuous investment in dairy farming through the ward development funds for the benefit of his ward, adding that South East Nyakach is the model ward in the county in dairy farming, promising that the department will work together to support dairy farming in the area.
To ensure accountability he said, the department has devised an MoU with the farmers receiving cows to ensure no negligence on their part. In case of negligence the department will not hesitate to act according to the outlined rules in the MoU.
On her part the Chief Officer Livestock and Fisheries, Madam Rosemary Raluoch, also echoed the sentiments of the Minister on matters negligence and called on the farmers to be productive and take advantage of the upcoming Nyang’ore dairy Center in Chemelil that will economically empower dairy value chain actors.
The center will provide training for farmers, quality breed, animal feed, value addition for milk, and employment opportunities.
On the extension services gap, she challenged the members of the cooperative society to rise up to the task and fill the gaps by offering the extension services amongst themselves or contract an extension officer whom they can pay through their proceeds.
Apart from keeping cows for milk, she also called on the youths to venture into the dairy value chains to make money by selling animal feeds or offering training services to farmers.
To the farmers who haven’t joined the cooperative society, she put them on notice to change their mindset and join the rest since the entry point to farmers by the department will be through cooperatives and not to individual farmers.
The County Director Livestock Mr. Charles Kakuku, affirmed that the cows being distributed are in calf and will be due for calving in a months’ time. Two of them had calved down while in transit.
Mr. Kakuku also guided the farmers in understanding the regulations within the MoU they signed.
He further sensitized them on the best practices on keeping the animal healthy to avoid being invaded by diseases or ticks for loss by ticks is considered negligence on the part of the farmer and no compensation.
By: Emily Mikwa