Milk production in twelve counties countrywide is set to double following a series of interventions rolled out through a project run by the Kenya Crops and Dairy Market Systems (KCDMS).
Through the US-AID-funded project, over 190,000 farmers in Kisumu, Siaya, Migori, Homa Bay, Vihiga, Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia, Kisii, Kitui, Makueni and Taita Taveta counties have managed to double their daily milk production from 2 litres to 8 litres per cow, a move that has boosted their incomes.
KCDMS Chief of Party Dr. Robert Mwadime said through the project, farmers have benefited from improved breeds and nutrition, which has improved dairy herd and narrowed the gap in milk production.
“The demand for milk in the country is high and through these interventions, we are now producing about 60–70% of the milk citizens consumed,” he said.
Dr. Mwadime stated that the dairy sector is capable of providing employment opportunities for millions of Kenyans, and that the interventions rolled out through KCDMS will go a long way in addressing challenges facing the sector.
KCDMS Dairy Coordinator Brenda Aluda attributed the success of the programme to breed improvement and use of modern technology.
She stated that farmers have benefited from extension services and improved breeding technologies, including artificial insemination, which has seen a marked improvement in their breeds and impacted positively on production.
“Conception rates have improved from 56 per cent to 64 per cent leading to the overall success of the project,” she said proudly, adding that when the project started, farmers had traditional Zebu cows that produced between 1-4 litres of milk daily but currently, they are targeting at least 10 litres daily.
Kisumu county first lady Dorothy Nyong’o lauded the project for transforming the lives of farmers.
Lawrence Adoyo, who offers Artificial Insemination services in Nyanza and Western region, said as a result of the project, the demand for insemination services has risen, resulting in improved breeds.
By Fredrick Odiero
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