Empowering Farmers through Knowledge

Empowering Nakuru County’s Dairy Farmers: A Path to Prosperity Through Innovative Training

In a groundbreaking move that promises to transform the dairy farming landscape in Nakuru County, New Kenya Co-operative Creameries ltd, in collaboration with Nakuru County, has initiated an ambitious campaign set to benefit over 2,000 dairy farmers. This comprehensive training program aims to revolutionize livestock management practices through an innovative climate-smart training initiative that will empower local farmers with invaluable skills in silage production and forage preservation.

Empowering Farmers for a Sustainable Future

At the heart of this initiative lies a compelling vision – to enhance the cost-efficiency and quality of dairy production in the region. The campaign is committed to equipping dairy farmers with the knowledge and tools needed to produce high-quality and abundant animal feeds throughout the year, thereby ensuring the sustainability of their operations.

Mr. Samuel Ngotho, the Regional Sales Manager of New KCC, unveiled this game-changing project during a recent stakeholders’ meeting at the County headquarters. He emphasized the primary goal of the campaign: to enable dairy farmers to produce top-quality animal feeds consistently. In doing so, this initiative not only boosts dairy productivity but also addresses the challenges posed by climate change.

Silage: The Key to Year-Round Feed Availability

One of the central components of this training program is the focus on silage production and utilization. With many livestock farmers heavily reliant on pasture-based systems, feed availability becomes highly seasonal. Recognizing this, Ngotho underscored the critical role of silage as supplementary feed during dry seasons. The program will provide farmers with comprehensive instructions on silage production and its efficient utilization.

Driving Down Operational Costs

In an era of rising prices of commercial feeds, Ngotho also highlighted the importance of reducing operational costs on dairy farms. He urged farmers to consider dairy cattle breeds that not only excel in milk production but also have lower feed requirements, particularly during adverse weather conditions. By making wise investments in livestock breeds, farmers can not only enhance productivity but also ensure financial sustainability.

Unlocking the Dairy Sector’s Potential in Nakuru County

Kenya’s dairy sector contributes significantly to the country’s agricultural GDP, accounting for approximately 14 percent. This contribution primarily comes from smallholder farmers. The sector is home to over five million dairy cattle, producing an estimated four billion liters of milk annually. With production projected to increase by 150 percent by 2050, the potential for growth is enormous.

Nakuru County Deputy Governor, Mr. David Kones, emphasized the significance of the training program in unlocking the dairy sub-sector’s potential. It is estimated to be worth an impressive US$169.3 million within the devolved unit. Kones outlined various challenges facing dairy farmers, including the high cost of animal feeds, inadequate infrastructure, limited access to markets, and low-value addition.

A Path to Prosperity

In response to these challenges, the county is actively collaborating with development partners and research institutions to develop strategies that will significantly increase milk production per animal. The aim is to achieve at least 15 liters per animal per day, which could potentially result in an annual earnings boost of US$169.3 million.

Records from the County’s Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries Department paint a vivid picture of the current scenario: 310,000 dairy animals yielding an average of 5 liters per day. This falls significantly short of the global average of 24.5 liters per cow per day. However, with the advent of this transformative training initiative, the future holds the promise of a thriving dairy sector in Nakuru County.

In conclusion, the collaboration between New Kenya Co-operative Creameries ltd and Nakuru County heralds a new era for dairy farming in the region. With a strong focus on sustainable practices, knowledge dissemination, and innovation, this initiative sets the stage for dairy farmers to prosper, overcome challenges, and lead the way towards a brighter and more sustainable future for Nakuru County’s dairy sub-sector.

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