United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will partner with Busia County to develop a Dairy Development Strategy that will guide the dairy industry in the county.
The world’s premier international development agency has picked Busia among 22 counties to assist in developing the DDS through International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Kenya Dairy Board (KDB).
An agricultural economist at ILRI Dr James Rao said the document will help coordinate the Dairy sector growth and planning for Busia County, adding that they are collaborating with the Kenya Dairy Board on their area of mandate.
Speaking after a meeting with Busia Agricultural Department officers led by the County Executive Committee Member Dr Moses Osia on Thursday, Dr Rao said the document will outline areas and opportunities for investment in dairy sector in Busia.
“We shall have the first stakeholders’ forum in June where the stakeholders in the dairy value chain will form a dairy vision for their county; in about two to three months, we shall get dairy strategy document outlining the gaps, the dairy value chains and strategies for bridging the gap in the dairy value chains for Busia County,” he said.
A dairy consultant Dr Dominic Menjo said Kenya dairy sector is faced with numerous challenges due to low production per cow; this is caused by cows being underfed, thus making them not able to produce the genetics.
Dr Menjo said quality of milk in Kenya is good but how it’s handled and the container it is stored leaves it with high bacterial content.
He also cited the high cost of production of Kenyan milk compared to the rest of the world; this is attributed to unit of production which is too small to meet overhead costs, adding that cost of labour, feeds and taxes are also very high.
The dairy consultant said Kenya went into milk deficit in 2017 with the production of 3-4 per cent against the growing demand of 7%; the country then started importing milk from outside the country to seal the estimated 60,000 litres deficit annually.
Busia Agriculture Executive Dr Moses Osia they will work with ILRI and KDB to come up with the Dairy Development Strategy to guide the dairy industry.
Chief Officer for animal resources Eng. Richard Achiambo said the department will form a committee to fast-track the development of the strategy document.