A modern facility to generate quality dairy goat semen is being put up at the Animal Health and Industry Training Institute (AHITI) Ndomba in Kirinyaga County.
The facility, to cost Sh400 million, is 60 percent complete and is expected to be ready by the end of the year.
Agriculture Principal Secretary Peter Munya said some funds for the project would be reallocated to ensure the facility was completed as scheduled.
He said with improved goat breeds, milk production would be increased from the two to eight litres per animal which would go a long way in improving the livelihood of the farmers.
Speaking after inspecting the progress of the ongoing construction works Friday, Munya said the cost of importing the goats and semen was an expensive venture hence the plan to build a centre locally.
“It is after considering the high importation costs that the government and stakeholders in the dairy goat sector came up with this project, the first of its kind in the Central and East African region,” noted Munya.
He said farmers would be able to access the high quality semen for breeding purposes and attain the multiplication effect so desired.
The cost of single semen dose would be Sh200 from the source and Sh500 from Artificial Insemination agents.
The project owned and managed by the Kenya Animal Genetic Center (KAGR) will also be producing one day old chicks whose demand is high while the Kenya Agricultural Research and Livestock Organization (KARLO) has been unable to meet.
Munya said farmers would be accessing the dairy goat semen and the day old chicks from the facility which would in turn make their ventures more economically worthy.
“These day old chicks of the improved Kuku Kienyenji are in high demand in this country and once we start mass multiplication at this facility, our farmers will certainly benefit a lot,” Munya said.
He said the facility would also be equipped with a semen sexing machine to ensure the farmer got the desired sex mainly females for further multiplication purposes.
The CS also flagged off two trucks which would assist the farmers in the transportation of liquid nitrogen for ease of access to the farmers in various locations in Mt Kenya region.
Ndaragua Member of Parliament Jeremiah Kioni who accompanied the CS during the tour said those claiming the government was not working were either ignorant or blind.
He said leaders were elected to provide leadership and come up with such projects which could improve the life of the farmers.
“Let us assist our people with projects like this one which is going to play a key role in improving the lives of women and youth instead of engaging in empty 2022 politics,” Kioni said.
KAGRC Chairman Dr. Geoffrey Kamau said farmers would also be able to access quality pigs at this facility. “This is going to become a one stop shop for our farmers since they will be accessing high quality dairy goat semen, improved Kienyeji chicks and piglets at very subsidized costs,” he said.
Dairy goat milk processors represented by Dr. Mugo Njeru said with the improved breed, they would increase production from the current 2000 to 3000 litres daily.
By Irungu Mwangi