The European Union (EU) has given Sh.110 million grant to the county government of Kisumu to revive and enhance dairy production in the area.
The grant which is under EU’s instruments for devolution advice and support (IDEAS) program will go towards establishment of a Dairy Development Centre in Muhoroni Sub County.
Speaking in Muhoroni during the ground breaking ceremony for the project on Saturday, the EU Ambassador to Kenya, Simon Mordue said the support was part of EU’s Sh.3 billion grant targeting 15 counties.
Mordue said through the project, over 5, 000 cows will be inseminated to produce superior high yielding breeds.
“The Zebu cows being reared here can’t produce enough milk. This project will boost milk production with an average farmer earning up to Sh.600 per day,” he said.
“EU will continue to help Kenya strengthen devolution to bring services and decision making closer to the people,” he added.
And to open up the lake Region, Mordue said the EU has funded upgrade and expansion of Isebania-Kisii-Ahero Highway.
This, he said, will open up the area and serve as a strategic corridor linking Kisumu to Mwanza in Tanzania with farmers exporting their produce through the upgraded Kisumu port.
He said that EU was also focusing on other areas of agriculture among them revival of cassava production where over 20, 000 farmers have been brought on board to scale up production.
“We are also looking at sugar production with a view to enhancing the quality of cane and sugar coming out of our factories,” he said.
The Devolution and ASAL’s Cabinet Secretary (CS), Eugene Wamalwa thanked EU for the support saying the move was a major boost to the government’s big four agenda.
Wamalwa said improvement of dairy breeds will go a long way in ensuring the county produces sufficient milk for domestic consumption and sale.
The CS said the county government will inject an additional Sh.22 million into the project which is expected to be completed in the next six months.
He added Kisumu County was leading the pack in implementation of the big four agenda with the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) program, being piloted in the area recording good progress.
At the same time, Wamalwa noted that the revival of Kisumu Port and establishment of a Special Economic Zone in the area will create jobs and also improve on the living standards of the people.
Meanwhile, the government will soon make major pronouncements on the revival of the sugar sector which is a major economic activity in the area.
“The president appointed a task force to look into the issues affecting the sector. The report is now before the cabinet and very soon it shall be acted upon,” said the CS.
The Kisumu County Governor, Prof. Anyang Nyong’o lauded the partnership with EU, adding that the dairy project and improvement of breeds will end perennial shortage of milk in the area.
By Chris Mahandara