The County Government of Nakuru and dairy stakeholders have initiated a program aimed at unlocking the untapped Khs 23 Billion potential in the dairy sector in the County.
Agriculture Executive Committee Member Dr Immaculate Njuthe Maina says last year dairy farmers in the County earned Khs 9.6 billion from the sale of 291 million liters of milk which is reported to be way below the devolved unit’s yield.
Dr Njuthe says low productivity, poor quality and limited market access were major factors compelling dairy farmers to sell over 60 percent of milk at low prices at informal outlets.
The County’s initiative will support formation of cooperative societies and provision of training to farmers in modern dairy farming, milk production techniques and equipment and marketing.
Njuthe says incomes from 310,000 dairy animals within the County could rise threefold if value addition chains and marketing of milk products are streamlined.
Currently small scale dairy farmers yield an average of five liters per animal per day, which the program aims to increase to 15 liters per animal through modern technology.
The initiative also targets to ensure that only qualified agricultural extension officers are allowed to administer Artificial Insemination Services.
Nakuru is one of the 21 counties that will benefit from the project funded to the tune of Khs 22.6 billion by the World Bank through the National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project.
It aims to increase productivity and improve food security in 420 selected wards in the country.
The project is targeting 360,000 people countrywide.
Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) Pasture specialist Dr Naftali Ondambu says the County will unlock the untapped potential in the dairy sub-sector if farmers are enabled to get drought resistant, high nutrient content and affordable fodder.
He says that the County needs to facilitate training in the manufacture of animal feeds and equip dairy farmers with skills on growing, harvesting and storage of fodder to be used during dry seasons.