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Counties

Nakuru farmers halve dairy losses on tech upgrade

Dairy cows
Dairy farmers are reaping big from training. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Dairy farmers in Nakuru say their post-harvest losses have dropped by a huge margin on use of better technologies.

Farmers said regular training has increased production. “Our daily milk production at Kuresoi stands at nearly 10,000 litres per day, up from a paltry 800 litres a few years ago,” said John Mongechi, a dairy farmer in Subukia Sub-County.

The county department of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries says smallholder farmers have embraced better tools through co-operatives.

The Agriculture executive Immaculate Maina on Wednesday said milk losses in the region have reduced from 32 percent in 2018 to about 15 percent in 2019.

“With about 32 percent losses associated with electrical energy as recorded in 2018, the county’s commitment to support farmers through new innovations has largely contributed to the reduction in loss rate,” said Dr Maina. She said the county was working with the farmers to retain milk production at Sh9 billion with about 293 million litres sold.

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Seventy percent of the total land acreage in Nakuru is agriculturally productive, with a huge capacity for livestock production, especially dairy cows.

Farmers attribute the re-emergence of dairy sector as a strong pillar of the area’s economy to ties with processors that train them in right practices.

Co-operative societies observe that milk production has been steadily rising over the past three years following sustained training in cow husbandry by processors.

In August last year, the Kenya Dairy Board said milk production in the country had increased by 19 million litres due to good weather.

The board said the uptick saw a rise from 41 million litres in May to about 60 million litres a month. In the beginning of the 2018, milk production was at 68 million litres.

Nakuru County has allocated Sh50 million for vaccination. “We are distributing 21 Artificial Insemination kits to active dairy co-operatives and a county-wide livestock vaccination initiated against the common diseases,” said Dr Maina.

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