Farmers in Migori County have been advised to embrace dairy farming as a substitute for the collapsed tobacco and unstable sugarcane farming.
The Livestock Principal Secretary (PS), Harry Kimtai wondered why the locals still keep traditional cows yet the climate favours modern dairy farming.
“Dairy farming do very well in this area. I wonder why you are still keeping the traditional cows and even through your cooperative society you have secured a milk cooler,” said Kimtai, while addressing farmers during Public Participation for proposed Uriri Technical Training Institute at Oyani Farm, Uriri Sub County.
Kimtai said the National Government has started closer engagement with the County Government of Migori and other relevant stakeholders on how they can boost dairy farming in the region.
The PS said by establishing dairy farming training institute at Oyani farm, the government will create opportunities to the locals by promoting self-employment.
“You people of Uriri please take this advantage and lay your foundation in dairy farming to replace other weakening tobacco and sugarcane farming,” the PS added.
He said milk production has value addition products, including Yoghurt, butter and ghee which all can find market within Migori County.
The Industrialization Principal Secretary (PS). Francis Owino, who was also present during the function said proposed Dairy Training Institute at Oyani will bring direct and indirect benefits to the locals and people of Migori County at large.
The Uriri Member of Parliament, Mark Nyamita said he had secured sh. 60 million for the construction of the institute if the government through Livestock Department approves the proposal.
Nyamita regretted that the government’s 240 acres at Oyani farm had least benefitted the locals, saying the proposal is seeking to have 40 acres apportioned to the dairy training institute which according to him will have greater benefits to the locals.
Kimtai and his technical team were in a fact finding mission after Uriri residents through their area MP wrote to the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary requesting to be given land at Oyani farm for the construction of a dairy farming based technology institute.
Construction of dairy institute in Migori County will boost an idea mooted and supported by Governor Zachary Obado, who had in 2015 bought more than 200 dairy breeds from Uasin Gishu County to support dairy farming in the county. The cows were distributed to registered groups across the county.
The institute is expected to impart skills to the farmers on how they can gain maximum output from dairy farming. More than 90 percent of milk consumed in Migori County comes from neighboring counties of Narok and Rift Valley.
By Geoffrey Satia