More dairy goats for Kerio farmers

Agriculture Counties Editor's Pick Elgeyo Marakwet

To enhance the economic prospects of farmers in the Kerio Valley belt, the County government Elgeyo Marakwet has taken a proactive step by distributing more dairy goats in Arror Ward, Marakwet West Sub County.

This move is expected to revolutionize the local agricultural sector, with goat milk hopefully becoming a lucrative source of income for the region’s farmers.

The distribution of high-breed Toggenberg goats has already begun. These exceptional animals have the capacity to yield an impressive amount of milk, and farmers can expect each goat to produce between 3.8 to 5 liters of milk per day.

With 797 goats already distributed to farmers in the Endo and Arror Wards, the region is poised to generate up to Sh600,000 in revenue. This infusion of capital will significantly improve household earnings for the local community.

Agriculture and Livestock CEC Edwin Seroney spearheaded the distribution of 253 goats at Chepkum Primary School, emphasizing the need for farmers to adopt farm practices that are not capital- and labor-intensive.

By focusing on these efficient methods, farmers can maximize their profits and enhance their livelihoods.

Seroney highlighted the growing demand for goat milk in the country, as it currently retails at a minimum of Sh200 per liter. Apart from its nutritional value, goat milk’s high butter content makes it a highly sought-after commodity.

The distribution of dairy goats falls under the Emergency Locust Response Program (ELRP), a vital livelihood rehabilitation initiative for those affected by the devastating desert locust infestation in 2020.

Jeremiah Biwott, Chair of the County Assembly Agriculture Committee, emphasized the importance of seizing this opportunity to supply milk to other parts of the county.

He drew attention to the constant transportation of milk from the highlands throughout the year, suggesting that the region should tap into goat production to meet the demand.

Justin Mutwol, an Arror ward Member of the County Assembly, expressed gratitude to the county government administration for their commitment to transforming Kerio Valley into a productive zone rather than one solely reliant on consumption.

Mutwol believes that the distribution of goats will serve as a catalyst for economic growth in the area.

Elizabeth Kiptoo, a resident of the area, praised the timely intervention.

“As mothers, this is what we have been longing for. We have never produced enough milk to feed our children. I am grateful that we have been provided with pasture seeds and sprays,” she said.

Kiptoo’s sentiments reflect the hopes of many mothers who can now meet their families’ nutritional needs through the goats proceeds.

Simon Chembili, another resident, called on the county government to continue distributing goats in the area.

Chembili emphasized the goats’ ability to produce twins, which, when coupled with proper management, allows farmers to expand their herds quickly. This increases the number of goats, which directly translates to higher income for farmers.

In addition to the distribution of goats, farmers were also provided with essential farm inputs, including knapsack sprayers, dewormers, and pasture seeds. These inputs will enable farmers to optimize their production and ensure the long-term success of their dairy goat ventures.

Meanwhile, as the dairy goat industry gains momentum in Kerio Valley, the region’s farmers are poised to experience a significant economic upturn.

The distribution of these high-yield goats, combined with the necessary support and resources from the county government, promises to uplift the community and bolster household incomes.

By Rennish Okong’o

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