Kakamega County has signed a memorandum of understanding with a Netherlands based dairy company, ‘Smart Dairy’, to see farmers in the county benefit from practicing decent dairy farming.
The joint venture programme between the two governments aims at enabling farmers earn a decent amount of money from dairy farming a move that will help alleviate poverty in the region.
Speaking during the event, the Kakamega county governor Wycliffe Oparanya said that he arrived at the idea as a way of diversifying the county’s economy.
“As we know, most residents within the county depend on sugarcane farming that has not been doing well for the last few years. We choose to diversify the economy so that in case one sector is affected the rest can save the economy.” said Oparanya.
Oparanya explained that depending on sugarcane farming only is likely to kill the entire county economically given that the sector is still not steady and cane takes long to mature. He called upon the residents to embrace dairy farming as an alternative.
Oparanya revealed that the county is in plans of establishing a dairy where farmers will be supplying the dairy products to.
Oparanya said that in the Smart Dairy program, farmers are given a chance to use a small portion of their land to rare 25 dairy cattle or more.
The county will invest 30% of the requirements that will be expected of the farmer by the Smart Dairy Company though the amount will be recovered by the county from the proceeds of the farmer after wards.
According to the director of the Netherlands based Smart Dairy Peter Paul, they are out to ensure that Kenyans make decent amounts of money from dairy as a way of fighting poverty.
Peter Paul said that the Netherlands intend to kick off early February and at least harvest the first quality milk in March.
He added that the project will be driven locally to ensure that it is affordable to all.
The kakamega county deputy governor Philip Kutima said that as a county they target to export milk soon.
He called upon all the residents to embrace the new farming for financial benefits.
Meanwhile, the governor has opposed the senate’s stand that county governments get enough money thus need not to borrow for development projects.
Oparanya explained that some counties prefer to borrow so as to continue with their development projects in time given that disbursement of the money from the national government always delay.
Revealing that they last disbursement was done in November last year, Oparanya said that there are many financial gaps being witnessed by the county governments.
He wondered why the national government should be allowed to borrow while the subsequent ones are denied the right.
“We are experiencing inflation due to the excessive borrowing of the national government, why should one arm of the government borrow while the other not?” He asked.
The governor said that the county governments had asked to be given a window to borrow up to 300 billion shillings but at the moment each county government is only allowed to borrow up to 50% of their previous budget.