The Kakamega County Government has set aside Sh.120Million in the 2022/2023 Financial Year to complete the establishment of Dairy Smart farms in the remaining eight sub counties.
Kakamega Dairy Development Corporation(KDDC) which was formed to establish and manage 12 Dairy Smart farms, one in every sub county, with 25 high quality dairy cows, is finalizing the process of identifying land.
The Smart farms are to serve as a centre of excellence for heifer multiplication and milk production to support milk processing centres.
Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa said the dairy smartfarms will also be utilized for practical training of county polytechnic students, schools and farmers in the dairy production industry.
The KDCC has established and operationalized four dairy smart farms in Lurambi, Matungu, Lugari and Khwisero sub counties.
The four operational smart farms have 123 animals, 35 lactating cows, 10 weaners and 11 calves.
The Chief Executive Officer of KDDC Dr. Isaac Lubutsi says production by the four farms account for 234,000 litres of the county’s annual milk production.
The Dairy Smart Farms will play a key role in the dairy sector in support of the One Cow Initiative Program where the county government has so far distributed 1,790 dairy cows with beneficiaries transferring 916 heifers to other farmers since 2015.
The one cow Initiative Program has thus led to an increase in livestock population in the county from 147,720 in 2016 to 177,578 in 2021 with a 39 per cent increase in milk production from 131.7million liters in 2015 to 182.6million in 2021.
Governor Barasa was speaking at the Bukura Agricultural Training Centre during the 2023 Governor’s Day with farmers themed collaborating for sustainable farming, food nutrition, security and improved livelihoods.
“The process of ensuring completion of Kakamega Dairy Plant in Malava Sub County is underway and is projected to commence operations in 2024 to create a market for increased milk production in Kakamega County,” he noted.
Governor Barasa said the County Government has further allocated Sh. 10 Million for provision of Artificial Insemination (AI) Services to farmers for improved cattle breeds.
“To improve the success rate for the 1400 inseminations per month, my government will continue to purchase high quality and well researched seeds to reduce repeat cases. We have also put great emphasis on disease surveillance and control to reduce the high influx of diseases witnessed in the recent past. The county carries annual vaccination against foot and mouth disease, lumpy skin disease, Rabies, black quarter and Anthrax,” he noted.
Last year over 200 000 cattle were vaccinated across the county.
By Moses Wekesa