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Insecticide treated nets boast dairy farming

Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 00:00 -- BY MANUEL ODENY

A UN project using insecticide treated nets to protect livestock have increased milk outputs and reduce mosquito-borne diseases to Kisii small scale farmers.

The nets have drastically cut close to 90 percent the number of flies, mosquitoes and other disease transmitting insect vectors causing nagana and mastitis, and reduced poor hygiene during milking.

The project’s preliminary results also show that farmers are reporting 40 percent fewer cases of malaria in their homes.

"I used to milk around 2 litres of milk, but since the nets were brought and the flies disappeared, I now milk around 4 or 5 litres a day, so I make profit and we've had no more malaria," Mary Munyega Nyandeo one of the beneficiaries said.

Mary Owendo another farmer lauded the project saying the increase has helped her sell milk to pay her children's school fees and have electricity in her home.

The project carried out by UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) also taught farmers basic hygiene measures to reduce illnesses in their cows.

"The insecticide, pyrethroid, is used to spray livestock and instead of being poured out it’s socked in nets placed on sheds to repel insects,” said Raffaele Mattioli, Senior Officer with FAO's Animal Health Service in an online press release from Rome.