The state department of livestock has urged small-scale farmers in Lugari and Likuyani sub counties in Kakamega County to ensure sustainability of donor funded projects in order to boost livelihoods and living standards.
Smallholder Dairy Commercialization Programme (SDCP) National Coordinator, Mr. Moses Kembe made the remark during an inspection tour of projects funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in collaboration with Kenyan government and local community within the two sub counties.
Kembe, who led a team of officials from the programmes national headquarters, disclosed IFAD had already released an additional Ksh.1.7 billion, towards the up scaling of SDCP projects countrywide which is set for rolling out.
“In fact this visit is part of preparations for the official launch of SDCP’s additional financing phase which will be done soon,” said Kembe.
Briefing journalists on sidelines of the tour, Kembe pointed out the donor funded programme aims at tackling challenges faced smallholder dairy producers, especially in production and marketing through commercialization.
“The overall goal of the programme is to increase the income of poor rural households that depend substantially on production and trade of dairy products for their livelihoods,” the official stated.
According to Kembe, a review survey rated the overall performance of programme as satisfactory and has contributed significantly to increased productivity from an average of 4 litres to 9 litres per dairy cow among beneficiaries.
“It has also significantly contributed to capacity building of farmers and creation of employment through on-farm employment,” observed Kembe.
The official expressed national office satisfaction by several success stories, among them Matete Dairy Cooperative Society, Tumaini Support Goup and Matende Dairy Farm in Lugari as well as Sergoit Farmers Cooperative Society and Rose Luvanga Community Resource Centre in Likuyani.
The programme, which was rolled out in 2006, has been operating in 25 sub counties within nine counties that include Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Trans Nzoia, Bomet, Kakamega, Bungoma, Kisii and Nyamira.
“However, with the additional funding, we have increased the sub counties from current 25 to 33, but within the original nine counties,” noted Kembe adding that IFAD set additional 1.7 billion shillings to fund SDCP program before closing its activities in 2019.
Besides IFAD’s donation, the national government will support the programme with an additional Sh.303 million, whereas benefiting communities will contribute about Sh.165 million in this additional phase that will run for three years up to 30th September, 2019.
“We appeal to beneficiaries to ensure sustainability of the projects even after the donor leaves,” urged Kembe who was accompanied by Mr. Daniel Keter an officer from the ministry of agriculture.
According to Lugari Sub County Livestock Development Officer, Mr. Wellington Mang’oli, an estimated 23,564 farmers in 70 dairy groups in the area have directly benefited from capacity building through training and tours.
“The programme has also created about 4,057 job opportunities, with majority of them being youths who work in milk bars among other employment created along the value chain,” added Mang’oli.
Likuyani and Lugari are the only sub counties in Kakamega county benefiting from the programme.