Dairy farmers in Meru County are set to receive coolers to improve the quality of milk production and reduce losses incurred from the commodity by farmers in the region.
According to the State Department for Livestock Principal Secretary (PS), Harry Kimutai, the county will receive two coolers to be issued to dairy farmers in Igembe and Buuri Sub counties.
Kimutai pointed out that the coolers will assist the farmers avert huge losses occasioned by milk spoilage especially during the rainy season when production is at the peak.
The PS said each cooler has a capacity of 300, 000 litres and challenged the farmers to embrace dairy farming as an economic enterprise.
He said the State is supporting the Kenya Animal Genetic Resource Centre with liquid nitrogen plants in the region to ensure they have necessary resources for their livestock.
The PS said once the plant is operational it will improve accessibility of quality semen and improve breeding of livestock.
Kimutai urged dairy farmers to embrace the plant to get best quality breeds meant to improve both meat and milk production.
He said the state has developed an animal feeds policy which is part of recommendations of a task force to ensure the prices of the feeds are stabilized.
“With the policy in place we will be able to ensure that the prices and the quality of animal feeds are regulated,” he said.
The PS urged county governments to reintroduce milk feeding programs in schools noting that this will improve nutrition for the children.
So far over seven counties have initiated milk supply programme among them Meru, Embu, Nyandarua, Kilifi, Migori and Mombasa.
The Dairy Farmers Union Chairperson, Simon Kirinya thanked the government for waiving Sh.449 million debt owed by over 53,000 dairy farmers.
Kirinya reiterated that the coolers will be a big boost to dairy farmers in the region adding that many have been incurring huge losses due to wastage especially during peak season.
He said the dairy farmers are yet to meet the milk demand with the farmers only able to process 230,000 litres per day against a target of 250,000 litres daily.
“We are in the process of sensitizing dairy farmers on various techniques aimed at boosting milk production,” Kirinya said.
The Chairman called on the government to address the issue cheap of influx of milk imports from neighboring countries.
By Muguongo Judy