Dairy farmers in Kirinyaga County have received a major boost that will help them upgrade their cows to higher milk-producing and disease resistant breeds.
In a deal that was signed between the County Government and Kenya Animal Genetic Resources Center (KAGRIC), the farmers will receive quality Artificial Insemination (AI) services that will upgrade their cattle breeds with an aim of improving milk production.
In an event held at AHITI Ndomba in Mwea Constituency, Governor Anne Waiguru said that the agreement will facilitate the support of 60 dairy farmers groups through provision of quality Artificial Insemination (AI) services.
She said that the main objective of the project is to improve the breeds of dairy cattle in the county with an ultimate goal of increasing milk production for better incomes for the farmers.
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Through this project, 50,000 cows will be inseminated in six months and the next 50,000 cows in the following six months.
Governor Waiguru said that while KAGRIC will be providing semen and liquid nitrogen, the County government will provide 80 A.I. coolers to each of the county’s four cooperatives where each will receive 20 of them.
“The aim is to increase milk production from the current five liters per cow per day to around 12 liters per cow per day”, the governor said, adding that besides increased milk production, improved cattle breeds have a stronger immune system and therefore are less susceptible to diseases.
Kirinyaga’s annual milk production is 85 million liters with an average income of Ksh. 3 billion per year, with the governor noting that the potential to realize full milk production lies in improving the local dairy cattle breeds.
“Through our Wezesha Kirinyaga economic empowerment program, my administration is committed to supporting the dairy farmers to increase milk production so that their living standards can be uplifted” Waiguru noted.
She added that the County Government is supporting the dairy cooperatives with two 10,000 liters capacity milk haulers to ease transportation milk. Additionally, Rung’eto and Kirima Dairy Cooperative Societies will each receive yoghurt making equipment while all the four cooperatives will be supported with power generators.
She said that the yoghurt making equipment has a capacity of processing 500 liters of yoghurt daily which will go a long way in increasing farmers’ incomes reiterating that every household in the county will be touched by the economic empowerment program.
Earlier in 2018, the County Government supported Podago Dairy Cooperative Society and Rung’eto Cooperative Society through provision of milk cooling equipment, which have been of great help to the farmers.
The governor said that her administration will continue offering agricultural extension services to farmers to ensure that the program is successful.