Kenya to develop US$5.5m embryo transfer facility to improve local cow breeds, heighten milk production

KENYA – The government of Kenya is seeking to establish a KSH 600 million (US$5.5m) embryo transfer facility in Eldoret, as part of its plan to transform the dairy sector.

The project, spearheaded by the Kenya Animal Genetic Resource Centre (KAGRIC), will enable farmers get superior breeds with a potential to produce over 70 litres per day.

This will not only meet the local demand of the product, but also enable Kenya to venture into the export market, reports Business Daily.

“Most farmers have large herd but produce little milk output. We want our farmers to reduce the number of stocks and keep superior breeds that produce more milk.”

Dr David Kios – KAGRIC Managing Director

According to the Kenya Dairy Board (KDB), the country’s annual milk production stands at 5.2 billion litres.

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The industry regulator further indicates that by 2030, the country’s requirement will stand at 12 billion litres. This means there is need for annual increase of an estimated 600 million litre.

“Most farmers have large herd but produce little milk output. We want our farmers to reduce the number of stocks and keep superior breeds that produce more milk,” noted Dr David Kios, KAGRIC Managing Director.

The MD revealed that in the 2021/22 national budget, treasury has allocated the needed funding to actualize the project and that the agency has already identified a parcel of land to set up the plant. The project is expected to start this month.

Meanwhile, Margaret Kibogy, KBD Managing Director, recently indicated that the government is keen to introduce quality-based payment model in milk pricing, in order to motivate farmers to improve productivity and enable the country to meet growing demand for diversified dairy products.

“We want to see constant production so that farmers are able to plan and utilise various processing facilities which currently stands at 42 per cent,” she added.

This is part of reforms introduced in the recently launched Dairy Industry Regulations, aimed to streamline the management of the industry, encourage investment and ensure safety of the products in a bid to boost both local and export trade.

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The new regulations are in the form of eight sets of directives touching on critical areas such as registration, traceability of produce, compliance, sales contracts and safety standards.

They also stipulate the requirements for dairy farms, collection centres, milk bars and milk processing establishments including cottages, mini dairies, and processors to meet minimum hygienic conditions for the production of safe and quality milk.

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