A total of 110 farmers from Likuyani and Lugari Sub Counties received a donation of dairy cows courtesy of the county government of Kakamega in a move aimed at improving dairy industry in the county.
Speaking at Lumakanda Township Sports Grounds, Lugari Sub County when he presided over the handing over of the dairy animals, the county governor Wycliffe Oparanya said this was part of ambitious improvement of large dairy industry strategy that involves capacity building, credit access, value addition and overall value chain development.
Oparanya advised farmers to stop over-reliance on crop production and embark on agricultural diversification programme for maximum production reiterating his government’s commitment in improving dairy sector as well as agriculture in general.
The governor disclosed that under the dairy programme a total of 600 farmers across the county were each set to get an in-calf dairy cows in phase 1 with each ward receiving 10 heifers as the initial stock that will facilitate the multiplication process so as to benefit more farmers as the cycle continues.
“The programme will work on the pass-over premise, where once the animal delivers a calf the beneficiary will be required to pass it on the next household,” said Oparanya adding that the county government’s main target was to ensure each family in the county had at least one dairy cow in a period of about 10 year.
The governor disclosed that his government had sought and secured the partnership of entrepreneurs and credit providers to fast-track implementation of the project lauding equity bank for agreeing to partner with the county government in its implementation by availing sh. 2 billion to private farmers willing to invest in the dairy industry.
The county boss also thanked smart dairy company for its partnership towards the establishment of a modern dairy industry in the county which will be constructed in Malava Sub County.
During the ceremony the governor also launched tractors which will offer ploughing services to farmers at a subsidized cost.
He said the county government had purchased a total of 12 tractors to help farmers in land preparation whereby a farmer will only be required to fuel the tractor and enjoy its services at no extra charges.
Following the successful launch of Mavuno subsidized fertilizer early this year, the governor said he was encouraged with both the reception of the programme by the public and the corresponding improved harvests witnessed across the county thus promising to expand its scope to include subsidized tractor based ploughing, fertilizer and seeds in the next season.
Alongside these efforts, Oparanya said the county had commenced an extensive capacity building programme within the county polytechnics to supports its vision of agribusiness by enrolling a total of 600 youths in the polytechnics for a fully sponsored agribusiness courses whereby after completion they will be facilitated by the county government to start agricultural projects.