Meru county has rehabilitated Kinoru Artificial Insemination Centre and stocked it with semen.
Speaking during the event, the county executive secretary in charge of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Janaro Guantai said they have also opened a livestock disease diagnostic laboratory at the facility.
“The Artificial Insemination officers will be going to the homes of the dairy farmers and we have shared their contacts as a way of enhancing farming,” said Guantai.
According to Governor Peter Munya, the number of cattle is larger than what the county can sustain and has shifted the focus to fewer but productive animals.
“The county government is endeavoring to create agricultural wealth in Meru by targeting several programmes in the livestock sub sector. Some of the programmes are generic improvements like animal nutrition, farmer training, disease control, introduction of coolers, construction of livestock market and value addition,” said Munya.
Joseph Mutwiri, a dairy farmer in Meru, says there is a lot of potential in the dairy farming sector with a ready market.
Mutwiri, who has 70 cows which produce over 300 litres of milk per day, says with proper support, farmers can easily sustain their projects without many constraints.
“The challenges we experience are mainly diseases, lack of quality semen and fodder. What we are witnessing from the county government is a response that will address these challenges. Now there is nitrogen and we will not be going for it in Nairobi,” said Mutwiri.
Mutwiri said initially semen was being purchased at Sh7,000 for the sexed calves but now they will acquire it at Sh3,500.
“This is very fair for the farmers because the calves will be of high grade,” he said.
“We have procured high grade semen from Kenya Animal Genetic Resources Centre and from Brazil. This semen constitutes conventional and sexed materials. The semen procured is from conventional breeds of Friesian, Ayrshire, Guernsey and Jersey. There is also semen of a new breed in Kenya, Gir,” said Munya.