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Economy

Western farmers register for dairy, crop training

Brookside Dairy will provide a guaranteed market for the raw milk produced in Trans Nzoia and Bungoma. PHOTO | FILE
Brookside Dairy will provide a guaranteed market for the raw milk produced in Trans Nzoia and Bungoma. PHOTO | FILE 

More than 30,000 farmers in Western Kenya will benefit from a multi-million shilling training plan that seeks to boost milk and food production.

Milk processor Brookside Dairy has partnered with Livelihoods Fund, a France-based investment solutions provider and Vi Agroforestry, a development organisation, in a project that seeks to increase the average milk production in the Mt Elgon catchment from the current 5,000 litres per day to 135,000.

Brookside Dairy will provide a guaranteed market for the raw milk produced in the project area of Trans Nzoia and Bungoma and train farmers in dairy husbandry.

The Livelihoods project that was launched in Kitale on Tuesday, also seeks to attain food security in the two counties, by increasing crop yields by 30 per cent through sustainable land use.

Market access

“The project will secure thriving livelihoods for 30,000 smallholder farmers in the Mt Elgon catchment through increased milk and crop productivity, increased access to markets and better income from sales of farm produce,” John Gethi, Brookside’s director of milk procurement, said during the launch in Kitale.

“The current milk production per cow in the project area is five kilos per day. We intend to raise this production to 10 kilos per cow per day,” Mr Gethi added.

Bungoma governor Kenneth Lusaka, said dairy farming was a priority in the region as a key component of economic development.

Livelihoods Fund is associated with French food conglomerate Danone—which owns 40 per cent of Brookside. The Kenyatta family owns half of the firm.

Brookside Dairy executive chairman Muhoho Kenyatta and Danone’s CEO Emmanuel Faber were present at the event.

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