Livestock, fisheries and cooperatives department in Elgeyo Marakwet plans to assemble all dairy cooperatives in the county to form one dairy union, with the sole purpose of establishing a milk processor in the county.
Speaking at his office in Iten, livestock, fisheries and cooperatives Chief Officer, Dr. Benson Kibore says the department is working towards setting up a milk processor to help maintain the milk quality and increase farmers’ earnings.
He said that the department is also looking into a feed factory which will enable farmers to access quality and certified animal feed.
“We will set up a milk processing plant which we will link with a feed factory which will help push this value chain further into benefiting the dairy farmers,” he said.
Dr. Kibore added that the county has sourced and distributed nineteen coolers to various dairy cooperatives in the county in an effort to curb losses.
“The coolers have greatly helped the farmers from incurring losses as they no longer dump milk because it takes a while before it goes bad and the quality of milk is also maintained,” he said.
Apart from the processor the department is also looking into setting up a laboratory to test for cancer causing aflatoxin.
Dr. Kibore said that the milk quantity produced per household has increased from three to seven litres, which he attributed to various interventions by the county government including Heifer distribution programmes, artificial insemination, improved extension and enhanced disease surveillance and control.
He added that Elgeyo Marakwet is known for producing milk with the highest fat and butter content and with the set-up of the processing plant, more business and revenue will come to both the county government as well as farmers.
By Rennish Okong’o