About 66 dairy farmers groups being supported by the Kirinyaga County Government to venture into livestock feed production, have received a major boost after being supplied with manufacturing equipment.
The groups of over 2,000 farmers drawn from all the 20 Wards have received feed mixers and Single Phase Motor Machines, to start manufacturing animal feed.
The farmers will produce feeds for their livestock and sell the rest to the farmers who are not members of the groups, to supplement their income.
Governor Anne Waiguru, said the farmers will now be able to produce quality feeds towards improvement of their dairy cattle’s nutrition, which will in turn increase milk production for supply to local dairy cooperatives.
“Some 37 groups will each receive one feed mixer and one Single Phase Motor while 11 others will each get two motorized grass cutters and one chopper. Eighteen groups will each receive two manual hay balers and two motorized grass cutters,” she said.
“Dairy production is part of our Wezesha Kirinyaga Program through which we have been empowering farmers to increase productivity in various agricultural value chains, with an aim of increasing their income,” she said.
Speaking while handing over the equipment to eight of the groups at Baricho and Kanyekini, Waiguru said the farmers will also get the initial raw materials such as wheat bran, maize and sunflower seeds to make the feeds.
“Previously supported groups are already reaping the benefits of producing quality feeds for their animals which not only save them money but ensures that their animals feed on quality feeds. They also make extra income from the sale of the feeds to other farmers,” the Governor added.
She said the initiative under the Wezesha Kirinyaga Empowerment Program, aims at helping farmers boost their earnings from increased milk production, to have every farmer earning at least Sh.400 per day from milk.
Waiguru said the County Government has also supported; Podago Rung’eto, Kirima and Rukingu Dairy Cooperative Societies, with milk cooling plants, milk haulers, yogurt-making equipment and generators to improve the capacity for uptake of milk.
“Through our Wezesha Kirinyaga Economic Empowerment Program, my Administration is committed to supporting the dairy farmers to increase milk production, so that their living standards can be uplifted,” she added.
The Governor said the County is also supporting the dairy farmers, through the provision of quality Artificial Insemination (AI) services to improve the breeds of dairy cattle with the ultimate goal of increasing milk production for better incomes for the farmers. The AI project targets approximately 50,000 cows.
“We want to make sure that as milk production increases in Kirinyaga due to availability of quality feeds and AI services to improve the breeds of dairy cattle, our cooperatives have the capacity to buy all the milk,” the Governor said.
She said besides increased milk production, improved breeds have a stronger immune system and therefore are less susceptible to diseases.
By Irungu Mwangi