KENYA – The government of Kenya has willed to support its dairy farmers through various interventions as part of agriculture reformation to create wealth and expand job opportunities for the people.

The Interventions have elicited optimism from Meru Central Dairy Copertaive Union members who have vowed to tap into the transformative efforts of the government to advocate and reform the dairy industry in the country.

The cooperative union, which has a membership of more than 30,000 dairy farmers, promised to increase milk production capacity from the current 406,000 to 1 million liters per day.

The union announced the initiative during their eighth annual dairy farmers field day, an event which brought together more than 12,000 dairy farmers from the county.

“Our main aim for holding this field day is to see how we can increase our milk production both for local consumption and export in order to increase our earnings,” the Union’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kenneth Gitonga said.

“We have cows, but the average production of milk is still low, with an average production per farmer standing at five litres.”

President Dr. William Ruto while preciding the launch the Union Factory Phase promised to ensure a reduction of sex semen from the current Sh 8,000 to Sh 1,500.

“We will set up a Sh400 Million plant to provide that will produce 500,000 doses of sex semen as opposed to the current status, where the semen is usually imported,” the president explained.

He assured the farmers that the government is investing in agro-processing and value addition besides championing Guaranteed Minimum Returns to fetch farmers more money.

Led by the union’s CEO, Kenneth Gitonga, the farmers appreciated the move noting that it is a major milestone for milk production as the number of heifers will increase among the dairy farmers.

“Our agenda is how to increase the productivity of our cows from five to ten litres and this will now be a dream come true following interventions by the President,” said Gitonga.

He added that the union had already acquired a piece of land where they were set to establish a factory for the manufacturing of animal feeds in order to ensure that farmers have access to cheap and standard animal feeds.

“We are grateful that the government has also promised to give us Sh100 million out of the Sh200 million we require to set up the industry, and this will go a long way in boosting our milk production as a dairy union,” said Gitonga.

He also applauded the government for promising to zero-rate the prices of animal feeds’ raw materials in the proposed Finance Bill 2023, adding that this will automatically lower the prices of animal feeds.

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