West Pokot is banking on dairy farming to shore up revenue and deal with recurring cattle rustling conflicts.
West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo says the county is investing 400 million shillings in buying dairy cows and sahiwal bulls for cross breeding.
Last year the county produced 12.5 million liters of milk earning the county billions of shillings.
With the aim of improving yields and reducing cases of cattle rustling in West Pokot and its neighboring counties, the devolved unit has kicked off a dairy project that will see small scale farmers in the area receive dairy cows, sahiwal bulls and gala goats for the next ten years.
Lonyangapuo says the bulls and goats will be distributed each year until they fully eradicate zebu breeds.
To this end, the county has set aside 400 million shilling to buy highly productive breeds, purchase Artificial Insemination services and hire extension officers and veterinarians to ensure the project is a success.
So far, the county has distributed, 400 dairy cows, 600 Sahiwal bulls and at least 2,000 Gala goats for cross-breeding to increase meat and milk production.
Farmers will also be trained on best farming practices to ensure they reap huge profits from the venture.
Lonyangapuo said livestock keep is the backbone of the community yet farmers have not made profits from the livestock despite their heavy investment but instead they are exploited by middlemen who buy their products at throwaway prices.
The county has also made plans to open an abattoir and a milk processing plant which will go a long way in boosting the region’s economy.