By: Emily Mikwa
Kisumu County Department of Livestock has distributed eleven more in calf dairy cows to local farmers with a view of boosting milk production in the region.
The initiative is in line with Governor Nyong’o ‘s manifesto as a means of poverty eradication for the small-scale livestock farmers through enhanced income with a view of expanding the dairy industry in the region in order to reduce over reliance on imported milk from the neighboring counties.
Speaking during the distribution, the County Director Livestock Mr. Charles Kakuku thanked the area MCA, Hon. Vincent Jagongo for allocating the grassroot funds to support the project.
The Director implored on the farmers that the dairy cows they are receiving are like a factory in which the input will determine the end product.
He admonished the farmers to feed the cows well and consistently with enough feed, ensuring they are free from ticks which threaten their health,. failure to which they may not get better returns. He added that if the cows are well fed, they should give milk between 15 to 30 liters per day.
Mr. Kakuku also warned the farmers against negligence that may predispose the cow to suffer East coast fever which he said is expensive to treat and suppose the cow dies of the same disease, the insurance company doesn’t compensate issues regarding negligence.
The Director Livestock further took the farmers through the details of the MoU signed between the farmers and the county department of livestock as a reminder of the roles of both parties and the penalties involved in case of breach.
The Area MCA, Hon. Vincent Jagongo said to the eleven beneficiary farmers that they were the lucky few who received the cows despite the larger number that were in need.
He urged the farmers to benchmark with those who earlier received the cows and are doing well for them to learn the best practices on zero grazing.
He affirmed that the weather in Kisumu North West Ward is promising but cautioned the farmers to watch out for any sickness and liaise with the County Vets for immediate attention.
Hon. Jagongo elaborated why the cows were being given to an individual who must belong to a group. He said there was need for responsibility and accountability on the part of the individual farmer who will be required to pass on the offspring to the next member of the group once the cow calves down within a period of 18months.
The Sub- County Administrator, Mr. Maurice Oricho told the farmers to count themselves blessed for having leaders concerned about their development as well as economic empowerment.
He charged them to spend time in feeding the cows, checking on their health in order to realize an output that is commensurate to the required input.
The liaison Officer Mr. Patrick Lumumba said the cows were of quality breed that if well taken care of, the families will also feed their children on the milk and this will reduce malnutrition issues in the region.
The area Ward administrator thanked the department of Agriculture for the continued support they have been receiving from the Government.
Apart from the cows being received, he said they have also received banana seedlings, fertilizers, maize seeds and a water pan that is now assisting farmers in growing vegetables and for domestic use.
He encouraged the farmers to work closely with extension officers for any extension services required.