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PS calls on farmers to form more cooperatives to boost dairy production

Principal Secretary (PS), State Department of Co-operatives, Ministry of Co-operatives and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Development, Mr. Patrick Kilemi, has called on farmers in Uasin Gishu County to come together by forming cooperatives in order to scale up efforts to promote dairy farming and enhance milk production in the region.

The PS acknowledged the significance of Uasin Gishu County, which is home to two crucial public companies, Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC) and Rivatex Company, which deals with textiles.

He emphasized that KCC holds particular importance for the people of Uasin Gishu, serving as a valuable resource for dairy farmers in the area.

Kilemi encouraged farmers to take advantage of the cooperative system, urging them to organize themselves and join cooperatives for collective benefits in rearing cows for milk production.

Highlighting the growth of KCC, PS revealed that their milk capacity has reached an impressive 120,000 liters per day.

He urged the farmers to strive for increased production, stressing the potential of the area for further growth and success.

Drawing inspiration from the farmers in Githunguri, Kiambu County, who have achieved the highest per capita income in Kenya through the sale of milk, which they produce in large quantities due to proper dairy animal feeds such as silage, dairy meal, and others, Kilemi urged the farmers in Uasin Gishu to emulate the same by investing more in animal feeds to boost milk production.

Kilemi reiterated the need for farmers to utilize the state-of-the-art storage facilities in the national creameries cooperative, noting that surplus milk could be processed into powdered milk for export, creating an additional avenue for income generation.

He reassured the farmers that by adopting the cooperative model and working together, they too could achieve higher milk production levels, similar to those witnessed in Githunguri.

“Let us talk to our farmers to produce more milk; the excess will be turned into powdered milk for exportation,” he added.

The Managing Director, Kenya Dairy Board (KDB), Margaret Kibogi, pointed out that the Board, as the regulator of the dairy industry in the country, is responsible for ensuring sustainable milk production and promoting the sector.

Madam Kibogi confirmed the existing processing capacity of 4.5 million liters of milk in dairy facilities across the county, including the newly established Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC).

She indicated that Uasin Gishu currently produces 230 million liters of milk annually, demonstrating tremendous potential for further growth, particularly in meeting the demand for the county and the country.

The MD, who was speaking during the launch of the Uasin Gishu School Milk Programme, expressed belief that other counties in the region should follow the example set by Governor Jonathan Bii Chelilim, which supports farmers to produce more milk in order to create a vibrant dairy sector.

“By doing so, not only would the region benefit, but the entire country’s economy would thrive from this sector’s contributions,” said Madam Kibogi.

Madam Kibogi stressed the significance of the dairy sector as a key component of the agricultural industry and highlighted her commitment as a policymaker to implement various interventions that protect farmers involved in milk production.

These interventions include infrastructure development to support the dairy farmers’ proper housing of dairy animals, transportation of milk, proper collection centers, and adoption of new technologies to monitor animal health.

She encouraged farmers to seize the opportunity and enhance their milk production, as a large open market exists. Additionally, she advised them to focus on producing silage and fodder crops to sustain milk production during dry seasons. “By adopting these measures, farmers can ensure the long-term sustainability of milk production,” she added.

By Linda Kitum and Isack Kololo

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