AI SERVICES

Goat breeding station to open next year in Kirinyaga

The AI centre will produce 500,000 doses of goat semen annually.

In Summary

• Farmers will get up to eight litres of milk per day.

• A litre of goat's milk retails at more than Sh100 unlike cow's milk, which is less that Sh60.

 

A herd of goats.
GOAT BUSINESS A herd of goats.
Image: FILE

Farmers across Kenya will from next year access high-quality goat breeds that yield up to eight litres of milk a day.

Conventional goat breeds yield less than one litre daily, according to the Kenya Animal Genetic Resource Centre (KAGRC).

Agriculture Chief Administrative Secretary Jebii Kilimo said on Friday the government is in the process of establishing a goat artificial insemination centre at Ahiti in Kirinyaga county at a cost of Sh400 million. The centre is 90 per cent complete.

"The goat artificial insemination (AI) centre will be the first one in Africa, and we will be leading from the front. Despite Covid-19 challenges, we want to thank our scientists for the work they are doing to improve the breeds in our country,” Kilimo said.

She spoke during the launch of the Sh1.2 billion Kenya Animal Genetic Resource Centre 2018-22 strategic plan.

The AI centre will produce 500,000 doses of goat semen annually. It will include a laboratory, semen collection area, barns for storing feed and an area for the bucks (male goats).    

“This was necessitated by the fact that many small-scale farmers are adopting  dairy goat farming due to the high cost of their milk. Goat milk is also high in nutrients and proteins, and is good for immune suppressed patients,” Kilimo said.

A litre of goat's milk retails at more than Sh100 unlike cow's milk, which is less that Sh60.

While commissioning a liquid nitrogen plant in Kirinyaga county in 2018, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the Ministry of Agriculture to establish an AI centre for producing high-quality goat breeds.

“The AI centre will help improve milk production from the current one to three litres per day per goat, to about five to seven litres per day per goat. Currently, there is high demand for goat breeds, especially from the neighbouring countries,” said David Kios, KAGRC Chief Execuive Officer.

"Another advantage will be that the high-quality breed we will get from the centre will have a high chance of giving birth to twins or triplets and this will be good for the farmers. One goat fetches between Sh25,000 and Sh30,000."

Geoffrey Kamau, KAGRC chairman, said they produce an average of 1.2 million doses of semen per year and that farmers only utilise 60 per cent which is

The National Treasury has also allocated Sh200 million to establish poultry breeding stations that will produce kienyeji chicken in Kajiado, Vihiga and Nandi counties.

There will be a pig breeding station in Kiambu and Kakamega counties, a camel breeding centre in Wajir and Garissa counties and embryo production in Kabete, Meru and Uasin Gishu counties.

The CAS said the goat rearing and kienyeji chicken (free range) projects will give women in rural areas financial freedom.

Edited by A.N