By George Munene
International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) has partnered with five other Kenyan companies to train women engaged in dairy farming on modern husbandry practices that will enable them to increase milk production. The initiative also aims at providing a ready market for milk produced.
The program will be accessible to farmers in six counties; Kiambu, Nakuru, Kericho, Uasin Gishu, Nyeri and Meru. The five companies involved are Bidco Land O’Lakes, Land O’Lakes Venture37, Corteva Agrisciencea and Forage Genetics International (FGI).
The consortium has committed to spending Sh37.5 million over two years in working to address the issues faced by small scale farmers which include; poor quality feeds, impeded access to a market as well as veterinary and artificial insemination services. A lack of proper bookkeeping to account for profits and losses and a knowledge dearth on modern husbandry practices.
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ILRI will work with farmers at the local level to build their capacities on the best livestock management practices. Forage Genetics International will give farmers expert knowledge on new methods of forage harvesting and conservation for making high-quality forage. Bidco Land O’Lakes and Land O’Lakes Venture37 will offer expert advice on dairy animal feeding and set farmers up with advanced dairy production technologies. Corteva will offer education and agronomic training to the smallholder women farmers.
Per data from Livestock Research for Rural Development, smallholder dairy farmers account for 56 per cent of total milk output in the country. According to Joseph Anampiu, Corteva Commercial Unit Leader, East Africa, many of them still lack the wherewithal to meet Kenya’s per capita consumption of milk which stands at 120 litres and is projected to rise to 220 litres by 2030.
ILRI Kenya: +254-20 422 3000/ +254-20 422 3001