• Agriculture executive Esman Onsarigo says 64 dairy farmers benefitted.
• Onsarigo distributed Sh5 million to 15 groups.
The Kisii government has disbursed Sh21 million to dairy farmers to boost milk production.
Some 64 dairy farmers have benefitted. Agriculture executive Esman Onsarigo said the county will be self-reliant in milk production if farmers are well funded. He spoke at the Agricultural Training Centre, where he distributed Sh5 million to 15 groups.
"The county government has been engaging dairy farmers with a view to assisting them to undertake best practices in the dairy industry to boost milk production,” Onsarigo said.
He urged farmers to form cooperative societies to earn more yields, adding that this will block exploitation by middlemen who buy their produce throwaway prices, only to rake in huge profits.
Onsarigo said on Monday the county requires more than 200 million litres per year to meet its demand but currently produces 166 million litres, creating a deficit of at least 34 million. He said the county partnered with the national government to purchase Sh50 million coolers but they are lying idle because the farmers have failed to form cooperative societies.
"Only one group in Masimba in Nyaribari Masaba has acquired and installed one milk cooler out of the five. The cooler has saved them from incurring losses because the milk is safe.”
Also present were representatives from the Livestock Production office led by Daniel Keter, and the Smallholder Dairy Commercialisation Programme (SCDP) national steering committee and the programme coordinating team led by Moses Kembe.
Keter said the SCDP programme has been a success in the country since its inception in 2006. It will run until the end of this month.
“The project was designed to address constraints in the smallholders’ milk sector in Kenya by increasing smallholders’ production, productivity and participation in milk markets,” he said.
The overall goal of the SDCP is to increase the incomes of poor rural households, which depend substantially on production and trade of dairy products for their livelihoods.
(Edited by F'Orieny)