- Robert Lelei, a smallholder farmer, said many farmers in the North Rift had adopted dairy farming as a source of guaranteed income for their families.
- He said the shift to dairy farming has been occasioned by assured income from sale of raw milk to processors such as Brookside.
Farmers in West Pokot county received the highest payouts at Sh197.8 million, while those in Trans Nzoia received Sh183.9 million.
Farmers in Uasin Gishu raked in Sh171.3 million, while those in Nandi and Elgeyo Marakwet counties were paid Sh126.1 million and 31.9 million, respectively.
Brookside Diary general manager Emmanuel Kabaki said the firm is committed to working with farmers to transform dairy into a full-fledged commercial enterprise, with guaranteed income for families.
He spoke during this year’s agribusiness trade fair held at the University of Eldoret.
“Our expanded processing capacity and aggressive product sales campaigns ensure we remain a guaranteed market for milk from farmers. At Brookside, we procure 100 per cent of all contracted milk volumes from our farmers and at no time do we ration supply, even in the seasons of plenty,” Kabaki said.
He said the payout comes on the back of aggressive campaigns for increased milk production by the processor.
This also signifies the important role of the dairy sub-sector to the economies of the five counties in the North Rift Economic Bloc.
Kabaki said they are encouraging adoption of agroforestry on dairy farms through planting of trees as part of the firm’s climate-smart interventions.
“In order to mitigate the effects of the vagaries of weather, we have also set up fodder resource centres in our raw milk bulking stations, including one in Kitale for fodder multiplication and distribution to farmers,” he said.
He urged farmers to conserve feed during the anticipated El Niño rains, to be used to feed dairy cows during the dry season.
Kabaki said Brookside is piloting a semen and liquid nitrogen distribution programme for its farmers, as it seeks improvement of cow breeds for increased milk production.
“We support this agribusiness event as it exposes agricultural sector stakeholders to new technologies and ideas for better efficiencies, and a platform for demonstration of best agricultural practices,” he said.
Robert Lelei, a smallholder farmer from Ziwa in Uasin Sirikwa Dairy co-operative society, said many farmers in the North Rift had adopted dairy farming as a source of guaranteed income for their families.
He said the shift to dairy farming has been occasioned by assured income from sale of raw milk to processors such as Brookside.
He also attributed the success of dairy in the region to the growth of co-operatives in the sub-sector, adding that farmers were now able to bulk their milk before selling it to processors, thus accruing the benefits of economies of scale.
“A vibrant dairy co-operative movement in the North Rift, coupled with trainings on best practice by Brookside, has contributed to the success of the dairy sector, with an increasing number of farmers opting to take up the enterprise for generation of regular family income,” Lelei said.