The Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) has lauded President William Ruto’s move to lower the price of sex semen in the country saying this will have a great impact on farmers and the milk production industry in the country.
ASK chief executive officer Batram Muthoka said that the society played a part in coming up with the policy adding that they had already set in motion plans to bring experts from France to help set up two semen producing firms in the country.
“This will be a big boost to our dairy farmers in the country because you are 98 percent sure of getting a heifer when you use the semen.”
“ASK played a part in assisting the government develop the policy and we shall try and bring in players from France next week to help us develop and construct a factory that will be able to produce the semen,” said Muthoka.
Speaking in Mombasa during the media launch for the 120th edition of the Mombasa International ASK Show, Muthoka said that ASK has a team stationed in Nairobi that is tasked with assisting the government develop national policies for the agriculture sector.
The show themed, ‘Promoting climate smart agriculture and trade initiative for sustainable economic growth’ has been slated to take place from September 6 to 10 at the Mkomani Grounds in Mombasa.
Last week while attending the 8th Meru Dairy Annual Field Day, President Ruto announced that the price of semen will go down from Ksh8,000 to about Ksh1,500 in six months’ time.
The president added that plans were already underway to set up a semen producing factory by the end of the year.
Muthoka said this was a great direction as it will have a significant impact in the milk production sector.
“We have already proposed two stations for the firm; one will be in Kitale and another in Kabete (Nairobi). We hope that as we expand we will be able to rope in Mombasa too,” Muthoka said.
He also called on the government to help reduce the number of middle men in the international market for some of the Kenyan products so that Kenyan farmers can be able to earn more.
He gave a case example of the Rungis International market in Paris, France that stocks a number of food and horticulture products from Kenya yet Kenyan farmers don’t earn much from it.
The ASK CEO said that there was a big disparity between the costs of products in that market compared to the price that farmers sold to middlemen.
“We are asking the government to reduce the influence of the middle man because that is where the money goes. We have initiated the discussions with the government and other players to ensure that the middleman is off so that the bulk of the money goes to the farmer,” he said.
He confirmed that so far 85 exhibitors had confirmed participation as they target to have about 250 exhibitors up from 150 that took part in last year’s edition and about 250,000 people are expected to attend the agricultural fun fair.
“We are also in engagement with the East African community through the secretary general to bring them on board to participate on the show. We are also in discussion to create what we call the East African Agricultural Society so that we can have engagements in this bloc, the office will be domiciled here in Nairobi,” Muthoka said.
Mombasa ASK chairman Anisa Abdalla said that they had already engaged the coast regional director of education and were in the process of engaging county directors of education to plan on how pupils can attend the show.
This she said was very important to ensure that the farming culture is inculcated at an earn stage as the show will provide a good learning platform for young budding farmers.
“We need to promote agriculture from a young level so that children will embrace agriculture from an early age to become great farmers in future,” she said.
She added that they have been engaging the ministry of Agriculture to ensure that farmers attending the fair will get more knowledge on what kind of crops do well in the region and how to improve their productivity as they embrace technology in farming.