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    The county government of Makueni and Kikima Dairy Farmers Cooperative Society yesterday commissioned Kikima Dairy plant worth Sh25 million shilling with the capacity to process and pack 300 litres per hour and 6600 litres in a day helping farmers avoid any milk wastages.

    The dairy plant based in Mbooni Sub-county and owned by the Kikima Dairy Farmers Cooperative Society makes Makueni County to be the first to sell its own branded milk dubbed Makueni Fresh milk making it the first dairy product to be processed in the county.

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    “Kikima Dairy Plant has now started production of fresh milk. Our farmers will no longer worry about wastage and lack of market,” said Governor Kivutha Kibwana on his twitter handle yesterday.

    “Makueni Fresh milk hits the Market. Makueni has now joined the league of milk producers with the commissioning of Kikima Dairy Plant.”

    The plant will increase milk processing in the country from 17 million litres of milk annually in the previous years to 18 million litres annually which is still below the consumption demand of 340 million litres annually. However, this guarantees market for Makueni Fresh.

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    The cooperative society has already made contact with supermarkets such as Mulleys, Naivas, Ngooni and Jimelli to supply them with the milk.

    In order to boost milk production among smallholder farmers in Makueni, the county stated a subsidized Artificial Insemination (AI) project aimed at gradually improving the genetic quality of milking cows.

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    In this project farmers are required to pay only Sh300 per service whereas the government through the department of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries settles the balance.

    According to the Kenya Animal Genetic Resources Centre (KAGRC) the price of an AI service in the market ranges from Sh1, 500 to Sh4, 000 depending on the source of the semen.

    Since the AI project started in June 2014 and to date over 8,000 inseminations have been performed with over 5,000 calves born in the county.

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    Backpack portable weeding machine.

    Karuworks Machinery Company, a Kisii County company which imports and assembles farm equipment and machineries is selling a complete set of portable and simple to operate weeding machine that can also be used for cutting grass, cultivation and planting by smallholder farmers.

    The machine can be used by four separate working heads including; tiller, slasher, weeder and planter, which are used interchangeably with the single operating system or the main machine.

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    The parts of the machine are imported from Germany, assembled in Kenya and sold to farmers as a complete set.

    “These parts work differently and perform different tasks at different times. For example the tiller has long blades that goes deep into the soil and this makes it unfit for weeding because it can destroy the roots of plants. Weeding is done with short edged tools such as the weeder,” said Hykarus Ondimu Mogusu, the company’s technician and head of marketing department.

    The main machine has a small petrol engine weighing five kilograms carried at the back when in use, it also a conduit, a switch,a handle bar an aluminum alloy and a working head.

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    “This machine is very safe if the farmers follow operation instructions well. We offer warranties and trainings on how to use the machine for free to our customers and repair at a discounted price,” said Mogusu.

    The petrol engine which can use two and a half litres of fuel per acre is carried at the back during use by the operator. Between the back of the operator and the engine is a thick mattress of two inches that is capable of absorbing the vibration of the generator that may affect the operator.

    The aluminum alloy has a guard between the handle and the working head which shields the operator from the rolling soil particles that may cause any physical injuries.

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    “We sell all the parts and the main machine as one complete set to farmers at Sh170, 000 although this price is negotiable depending on transport deliveryand the number of items a customer can buy from our company,” said Mogusu.

    “The company has spare parts for machines and equipment just in any case of damaged part and the need for replacement.”

    For more information contact Mongusu on +254 720 698262.


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    A microchip tag device is being fitted on a cattle's ear. The device helps in tracking the animal's movement hence helps in curbing livestock thefts and boost sales. Photo: Mwangi Ndirangu | NMG.

    The county government of Laikipia in collaboration with Kenya Veterinary Association (KVA) on Monday unveiled an electronic and traceability project that will help farmers and the government track illegal movement of livestock and help in authorized sales of the animals.

    The pilot project which will take Sh10m in three months and will see 50,000 head of cattle fitted with microchip tags that can transmit information about the animal's movement, its history and the owner. This detail is then reflected in a computer and mobile phone compatible application.

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    The device will be permanently fixed in the animal’s ear and cannot be interfered with or raptured unless one cuts off the animal’s ear

    “Laikipia County is chosen to try this project out because it is leading in beef production and the county leaders and other stakeholders in the beef industry have also stood up for support,” said KVA chairman, Dr. Samuel Kahariri, during the launch of the project at Jua Kali Market in Laikipia North Sub-County.

    According to Kahariri, the traceability will also help in marketing of the county’s livestock products especially in international markets by enabling consumers to track information about a product.

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    “Kenya has enough beef but the quality does not meet the international standards. We would like to boost the sector by controlling the spread of diseases which we believe is caused by cattle rustling and illegal movement of livestock,” said Kahariri.

    When the project is implemented it will minimise theft, assist in disease control and ease movement of animals.

    January 2017 Kenya Police report indicates that more than 24 people were killed in cattle rustling violence in the previous year, while nearly 25,000 livestock were stolen in 56 raids. This might have increased.

    This project which is a public private partnership with support from the national government through the State Department of Livestock, will finally be conducted in other counties where livestock farming is the main economic activity.

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    In the next few weeks a team of doctors will be moving across Laikipia County in different community ranches and farms fitting the microchip tags on livestock. This will be completed in April this year.

    This project is in agreement with the devolve unit plan which is to get pastoralists to shift from traditional ways of rearing livestock to methods that will curb spread of disease and improve quality and quantity of livestock.



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