The dairy sector development players today converged in Kisumu under the auspices of Kenya Crops and dairy marketing Systems Activity, a USAID funded program dubbed Feed the Future Initiative.
This event is a culmination of a five-year program implemented by KCDMS across twenty-one counties nationally, most of them within the Western region.
The KCDMS approach to improve productivity in the dairy sector over the period was successful with marked improvement in farmer incomes and community nutrition.
While presiding over the official opening the event, the Chief Guest Mama Kisumu H.E Dorothy Nyongo underscored the importance of dairy development as a key production pillar geared towards achieving sustainable food and nutrition security for the county residents.
“Improvement of crops and dairy enterprises development is a priority to our government and all efforts have been put in place to ensure that these sectors as well as others within the agriculture space are given the support desired and entrenched in our CIDP”, said Mama Kisumu.
She lauded USAID for having been a dependable partner in the development of the dairy sub sector as well as general agricultural advancement across the western region and nationally.
“I am encouraged by the success of this project aimed at increasing agricultural production and productivity contributing to poverty reduction and malnutrition as enshrined in the Kisumu Governor’s manifesto”, said Mama Kisumu.
The KCDMS Chief of Party, Dr. Robert Mwadime said that the region has great potential in enhancing dairy productivity in the country and contribute to methane emissions.
Dr. Mwadime said that the programme has impacted livelihoods of about 190,000 farmers across the 12 counties with very impressive results. In the dairy sector, milk production has improved to 6-8 litres per day per improved cow from the previous 1-2 liters before the project. Likewise, the animal conception rate has improved to 64% from 58%.
This growth in the dairy sector has created opportunities in the value chain nodes with 20,000 hactares parcels of land being put under improved fodder development.
“The success in upscaling the growth in the sector has been made possible by close corporation and partnership with stakeholders in the sector including the county governments from the 12 counties and other implementing partners”, said Dr. Mwadime.
The event brought together sector players from implementing counties representing farmers, agro-vet owners, government representatives and cooperative societies.
Kisumu County was represented at the forum by the County Ministers in charge of Public Service Hon. Judith Oluoch, Finance and Economic Planning Hon. George Okong’o and Mr. Kakuku representing the department of Agriculture.