Dairy Farmers in Nakuru have been challenged to embrace mechanisation in order to boost milk production.
County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture Dr. Immaculate Njuthe Maina said the devolved unit was committed to facilitating farmers to acquire modern farming equipment to boost food security in the Country.
Currently, Nakuru is ranked third among Counties with high milk production in the Country and with 381,600 dairy cattle.
In 2018, the devolved unit netted Sh 10.5 billion from the sale of 293 million litres of milk.
Speaking when she handed over equipment valued at Sh10.5 million purchased by the County to dairy farmers in Gilgil Sub-County to be used in harvesting and baling of hay, Dr Njuthe observed that mechanised agriculture has been identified as one of the ways to attain sustainable growth in the agriculture sector.
“We are working on the Nakuru County Mechanization Policy which is vital for agricultural transformation that will help in realizing food security. The policy will guide use of farm machinery to boost income for farmers.
The purchase of the equipment is the beginning of a program aimed at encouraging farmers across the County to adopt mechanization to increase productivity” said the CEC.
The equipment which included a trailer, bailer and tractor was handed to Inua Hustlers Farmers’ Cooperative on Friday at Elementaita ward in Gilgil Sub County.
In 2018, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that the government had waived import taxes on agricultural machinery and equipment in a move meant to support farmers to acquire the equipment at affordable prices.
Dr Maina further urged farmers to join cooperatives. She said the County Government supports the initiative of forming Nakuru County Dairy Cooperative Union that will enhance the farmers’ capacity to negotiate for better milk prices.
Currently, 21 Artificial Insemination kits have been distributed to active Dairy Cooperatives and a county-wide livestock vaccination initiated against the common diseases.
Also present was Livestock Chief Officer Dr Enos Amuyunzu, area MCA Moses Ndung’u, Chief of Staff Gichuhi Njoroge and other County officials.
By Anne Mwale