By Andanje Wakhungu
County Government of Kakamega has launched a multi-million smart farm that will be used to collect milk and train youths in Lugari Sub-County.
Deputy Governor Professor Philip Kutima said Lugari Dairy Smart Farm at Kabras County Polytechnic will benefit residents.
The farm which was constructed at a cost of Sh 23 million will serve as a learning centre for agriculture especially in dairy farming for polytechnic students.
He said that plans were underway to set up smart farms in all the 12 sub-counties.
Meanwhile, the county has finally commissioned a dairy processing plant at Tumbeni in Malava Sub-County. The plant cost Sh 110 million.
Once complete and operational, the plant will be able to process fresh milk, fermented milk products and UHT milk and receive 6,000 litres of milk per day collected by the smart farms. The farms will produce breeding stock for farmers.
Governor Wycliff Oparanya said the project has taken longer to take off than anticipated due to the lengthy processes involved in identifying and acquiring a suitable location and engaging investors.
To support the agricultural diversification, the county has already commenced the construction of a tea factory and a maize milling plant in Shinyalu and Lugari sub counties respectively.
The governor urged farmers to join cooperatives.
“In Kakamega we have an estimated 200, 000 dairy cattle kept by about 50,000 farmers producing an average of 250,000 litres of milk per day,” he added.