The County Government of Nyandarua is ready to ride on the county’s competitive advantage to revamp the dairy sector. Governor Francis Kimemia stated this when he unveiled the County’s dairy value chain strategic plan at CCM Ndudori Primary School in Mirangine Ward, Ol’Kalou Sub-County.
“According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, we are the eighth largest contributor to Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product. In the dairy sector, we are second nationwide. We can only aim higher,” said the Governor.
According to statistics from the county government, 80 per cent of Nyandarua’s farm families and 65 per cent of households are involved in dairy farming. The County has a total dairy herd of 349,300 with most farmers keeping two to three dairy cattle yielding an approximate of 296 million litres of milk. The sector contributes approximately KShs. 13 billion annually to Nyandarua’s domestic product with the average price of milk per litre in 2019 being KShs 32/-.
The sector has offered direct employment to 136,270 residents, with an approximate daily revenue of KShs. 29 million per day. 60 per cent of milk produced is traded in informal markets while 40 per cent is sold to formal markets. 20 per cent of the milk produced is consumed at home.
“Our annual per capita milk consumption is 114 litres against the national average of 125 litres per annum. The recommended rate by World Health Organization is 209 litres to improve on nutrition,” says Kimemia.
The Governor announced various strategic interventions with the aim of attaining an average production of 20 litres per cow per day from the current eight litres. These include:
- Dairy genetic improvement through the County subsidized artificial insemination program via a Public-Private-Partnership where farmers are charged Kshs. 700 for local semen and Kshs. 1,000 for exotic semen. In 2020 a total of 8,560 cattle have been inseminated in addition to cattle registration with Kenya Stud Book/KLBO.
- Promotion of fodder production, diversification and conservation technologies.
- Establishment of feed centers for promotion of Total Mixed Ration (TMR)
- Establishment of dairy model farms for demonstration and promotion.
- Promotion of competitive marketing and value addition through support to co-operatives with milk vending machines (3), coolers (20), weighing scales, milk analyzers, milk transporting cans/churns and pasteurizers.
- Upscaling of promising technologies, research and dissemination.
- Supporting animal health through construction of disease diagnostic laboratories, carrying out vaccination campaigns and rehabilitation of cattle dips.
- Construction of a milk processing plant (cooling plant, pasteurizers, packaging unit and product retail outlet), which is a joint venture between Nyandarua Cooperative Union, other partners and Nyandarua County Government.
- Construction of biogas units for groups and institutions.
- Improvement of extension advisory services.
- Promotion of youth friendly agribusiness opportunities.