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Kakamega dairy law to relieve farmers from over-reliance on sugarcane farming

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Kakamega Dairy Development Corporation Bill 2018 which was signed into law by the county governor, H.E. Governor Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya on Wednesday last week is set to spur dairy farming in the county saving farmers from over-relaying on the ailing sugarcane farming.

Early this year it was reported that politicians from Western Kenya region where Mumias, Chemelil, Muhoroni, Sony and Miwani sugar factories are situated had stated asking farmers to venturing into new cash crops as cane growing whose fortunes has been on a free-fall in the last two decades was never benefiting the farmers.

Upon signing the bill into law, the governor said once the corporation has been legally constituted, it shall engage in commercial rearing and breeding of dairy livestock as well as develop, promote and adopt the best practices in the dairy value chain.

“It is a high time we diversified into diary industry and fisheries, as well as well-managed and supported production of production of food crops such as maize and beans,” said Oparanya.

Furthermore, the corporation will develop and maintain a milk processing plant in Malava Sub-County to provide a ready market for dairy farmers.

Part two of the new law establishes the Kakamega County Dairy Development Corporation.

The county government started a dairy programme two years ago and has since given out 1,310 heifers to farmers under the One Cow Initiative programme.

The programme helps farmers to upgrade dairy breeds and improve milk production.

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Under the programme, selected farmers are given dairy cows and are supposed to pass the heifers to others after calving.

“My government has also set up smart dairy farms in Lurambi and Matungu subcounties to enhance milk production,” said Oparanya.

The county is unable to meet its annual milk requirements and relies heavily on the neighbouring Nandi County.

According to the Kakamega Dairy and Livestock status report of 2014, the county has an annual milk requirement of 197.6m litres against the current production of 112m litres.

“The Bukura and Matungu smart dairies are producing 480 litres of milk daily. We intend to set up smart dairies in all the 12 sub-counties aiming to produce more than 6,000 litres of milk daily in two years.”

The dairy programme is supposed to sustain a multi-billion-shilling milk processing plant to be established in Malava subcounty.

“We shall package the milk and supply to our ECDE leaners in the county,” the governor said.

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