Vihiga County government is giving out dairy cows to poor households to provide them with a source of income.
Governor Dr. Wilber Ottichilo has said the initiative is intended to economically empower the residents as most of them live below the poverty line.
Dr. Ottichillo said each household would receive a Friesian heifer which it will nurture until it calves.
The programme will operate in a manner that once a cow calves, the calf is raised to a heifer and then handed to another beneficiary.
He said they are giving out 50 cows in the first phase which would be done this month while the second phase with a similar number would be effected later in the year.
“We have talked to a German investor who has shown interest of setting up a dairy factory in the county and this would provide ready market for the milk,” he stated.
He said they are also going to provide the seeds of boma Rhodes grass and desmodium to enable farmers get pasture for the livestock.
The county currently suffers a milk deficit and therefore relies on the neighbouring Uasin-Gishu and Nandi counties to meet the supply.
Dr. Ottichillo said the farmers are adopting Precision Agriculture (PA) which has seen the production increase from eight 90-kilogrammes sack to 15 sacks per acre.
The county head said the PA requires that the farmer applies the right quantity of seeds, fertilizer and water in the given size of land for optimal production.
He also encouraged residents to venture into other value chains including African leafy vegetables, aquaculture and poultry as a way of diversifying their sources of income.
By Atupuruku Amunyin