Nyandarua mulls subsidising prices of semen imports to lift milk output

Milk output in Nyandarua is expected to increase after the county government unveiled plans to subsidise imported semen to enable farmers improve local dairy cow breeds.

County executive committee member in charge of Agriculture Agatha Thuo announce on Thursday a 450 per cent cut in the price of the semen to Sh1,000.

“The county administration has devolved artificial insemination services to the ward level where each ward will be having two service providers who use motorbikes to access farms and supply farmers with semen.

“Seven stations have also been established across the county to ensure the service providers easily procure the semen,” said the county official at Ol Jororok Stadium.

Ms Thuo said farmers in the region would be able to procure the semen at a cheaper price.

The county official said semen and nitrogen centres had also been increased from two to seven as one way of improving the dairy sector, which is the backbone of the region’s economy.

Fertiliser production

She also announced that the local semen would also be made available to farmers at a subsidised price of Sh700 down from Sh1,000.

Since the launch of the subsidised semen last year at a cost of Sh50 million, Ms Thuo said, the first batch of calves had been born and the county would soon organise a ceremony to celebrate the progress.

The county official also hinted that the county government could venture into fertiliser production to provide farmers the input at subsidised price of Sh1,800.

Ms Thuo said the project to establish a plant for local production of fertiliser would cost the county government Sh50 million.

Previously, the farmers depended on semen from Nairobi’s Kenya Animal Genetic Resources Centre in Lower Kabete, making it expensive for them to get artificial insemination services.

The county official said the distance between Nyandarua  and Kiambu counties was to blame for the high cost of artificial insemination services.