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Government set Sh. 4,000 as minimum guarantee return to maize farmers

The government will, from December, lower the cost of sexed livestock semen from the current Sh 7,000 to less than Sh 3000 so as to help dairy farmers change their breeds to more productive livestock.

Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi, speaking at the Ahiti ndomba in Mwea Constituency, Kirinyaga County, said that the aim of the government is to encourage farmers to change the genetics of their animals so as to increase milk production.
“I am working to see if we can delete the exorbitant price on semens, and we’ll be able to tell the country at what price we will be able to serve our animals with sex semens before the end of the year,” he said.

He said that the Kenya Animal Genetic Resources Centre (KAGRC), based at Ahiti Ndomba in Kirinyaga County, will play a critical role in changing livestock breeds and ensuring the country has the right genetic material.

He said that the government is committed to improving productivity, calling on farmers to embrace high breeds to bridge the gap of high demand for livestock products in international markets.

The Cabinet Secretary has said that the government has also rolled out mobile driers, which the farmers will be using to dry their maize and rice after harvest across the country, adding that farmers will be charged a cost of Sh 70 per 90-kilogram bag, saying the initiative is aimed at averting post-harvest losses due to on-going rains.

The Cabinet Secretary has also announced that the government is buying maize from farmers at a cost of Sh 4000. He said the prices act as guaranteed minimum returns to farmers in a bid to protect farmers against brokers who have been exploiting farmers through lower prices. He added that the Kenya Kwanza government is set to ensure that no farmer is going to be exploited, which is why the government is providing fertiliser at affordable prices.

“It is so important that, as a country, we focus on getting rid of the shame of a lack of food reliance. I can see, and I am assured, if we continue planting trees and we do mix indigenous and fruit trees, we will have killed two birds with one stone”, he said.

Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi with the Ahiti Ndomba students during their graduation

School principal Dr. J.W. Machaira said more assistance from veterinary professionals has been absorbed into the job market, both in the private and public sectors in the republic and globally. She said the school will continue to offer technical services and livestock services to sustain the increase in production, productivity, safety, and security innovation in terms of products.

She advised graduates to use what has been invested in them fully and put it to good use.

“Develop the industry, but also create employment for other Kenyans. Always endeavor to give selfless service to the livestock industry. Let your work speak well of you and be the pride of it,” she said.

Kirinyaga Senator Kamau Murango, chair of the Agricultural Committee in the Senate, who accompanied the CS, appreciated the government’s continued support for animal health and industry training institutes in the county, saying this is one of the best actions for Vision 2030.

“It is my joy that the Cabinet Secretary has promised the Daily Farmers they will be buying quality semen at a lower price compared to today’s market price, an act leading to poverty alleviation and food security in the county. We have also been promised driers which will have a positive outcome, especially for our rice farmers, where 90kg bags will be charged sh.70 to dry, which is a fair price compared to the current price,” said Senator.

A total of 33 students graduated with diplomas in animal and health production during the 38th graduation ceremony.

The Cabinet Secretary rewarded Stephen Ng’anga Njiriri the best Graduand in Diploma in Animal health with a job.

By David Wandeto

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