The cost of semen is expected to drop by as much as 50 percent following the State’s procurement of Sh40 million liquid tankers to transport the sexed seed.
Livestock principal secretary Harry Kimutai says the procurement of the tankers will help in reducing cost to farmers by up to half to boost production of more dairy cows in the country whose population stands at 18.8 million.
Sexed semen results in the exact sex of a cow that a farmer needs with nearly 100 percent accuracy, making it easy for producers to manage breeding.
“The four tankers that we are importing from Italy will be in the country next month. This will help in improving breeding of cows in the country,” said Mr Kimutai.
The PS said each of the tankers has a delivery capacity of 2,000 litres which will increase the current delivery capacity of the 5,000 litres tanker at the Kenya Animal Genetic Resources Centre (KAGRC) in Kabete.
The current cost of semen is between Sh1,000 and Sh1,500 per dose, which is way beyond the reach of many smallholder farmers.
“The new tankers will complement the one we currently have as they will be based in Kitale, Sotik and Kirinyaga thus enhancing quality of the semen and also time taken to reach farmers,” he said.
The only tanker in the country is based in Kabete, which makes it expensive to farmers given that suppliers have to travel all the way to fetch the semen.
Tharaka Nithi Governors, Muthomi Njuki, who is a member of the Council of Governors Agriculture Committee, also decried the high cost of Artificial Insemination service in the country saying it has increased the cost of production for dairy farmers.