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County, IFAD partner to boost dairy farming in Trans Nzoia

Dairy farmers in Trans Nzoia County will benefit from a three-year programme by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

The programme will be implemented in partnership with the Trans Nzoia County government.

Governor Patrick Khaemba who hosted a team from the IFAD at his office Friday welcomed the initiative even as he called on the Kenya Dairy Board (KDB) to regulate the prices of dairy products for farmers to benefit from the sector.

“We would like our dairy farmers to benefit from their sweat and this can be possible if KDB will play its role in ensuring that prices of milk are uniform,” he said.

He noted that farmers who are the producers sold raw milk at very low prices while middlemen benefit more for selling processed milk at very high prices.

“We as a county embrace value chain but the discrepancy in buying raw milk and proceed  one is too much and I want to challenge KDB to standardize milk prices so that dairy farmers can benefit from their ventures,” he said.

He further called for a reduction in the cost of dairy feeds in order to lower the cost of production.

The program known as The Smallholder Dairy Commercialisation Programme (SDCP) seeks to enhance the livelihoods of rural smallholder farmers in the sub-sector.

Some of the initiatives in the programme include improving information on market opportunities, financial returns on market-oriented production and trade activities, increased productivity besides value addition.

It will also be approached through enabling more rural households to create employment besides benefiting from expanded opportunities for market-oriented dairy activities as a result of strengthened farmer organizations.

The county government through its Livestock department will play a leading  role in mapping smallholder dairy farmers and creating linkages as well as creating an enabling environment for the realization of the project goal.

Trans Nzoia is known for being a bread basket of maize for the country.

However with fluctuating prices of maize, many farmers are taking to alternative ventures including dairy farming.

By Pauline Ikanda

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