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Tharaka Nithi County subsidises artificial insemination services to lower farmers’ cost of production

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Dairy farmers in Tharaka Nithi County are set to benefit from reduced Artificial Insemination (AI) services by up to 40 per cent following the launched of the programme yesterday at Chuka by the county government.

The AI services that initially cost Sh7,500 and 1,200 will be availed at Sh4,500 and Sh400 respectively.

The launch will address the semen demands of all cattle breeds in the county including Freshians, Guernsey, Ayrshires, Jerseys and their crossbreeds as well as Borana, Sahiwal and Zebus.

In this, the Ministry of Agriculture will install three liquid nitrogen plants managed by the Kenya Animal Genetic Resources Centre (KAGRC) in order to provide quality AI services to the community.

“Food security is a key priority as defined or spelled out in the presidential agenda of the Big Four. Addressing agricultural and livestock issues is a key priority. I’m happy that Tharaka Nithi County is playing a key role in harnessing the potential and creating employment,” said Harry Kimutai, Principal Secretary State Department of Livestock in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.

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A gender selective semen facility will also be installed in order to reduce the cost of semen from Sh7000 to under Sh3000.

The county had also commissioned feeds’ subsidy in order to further help the farmers reduce the cost of production stating that affordable input prices below the market prices, stimulats increased output, incentivizing adoption to farmers as well as increased incomes.

“The County Dairy Meal subsidy program (UNITY FEEDS) manufactured by Muthiru Dairy Farmers COOP Society at Iriga Market. The initial dairy meal bag that cost Kshs 2,500 will now be availed at Kshs 2,000 through dairy cooperatives,” read, in part, a statement on the county’s website.

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KAGRC will also provide resources to help in the keeping of pigs, indigenous chicken and other livestock.

Harry Kimutai recommended purchasing and converting excess milk to milk powder in order to stabilize milk prices during the dry season.

Kimutai said that there will be 1000 free semen straws for the first applicants of the AI programme.

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Tharaka Nithi County has its own AI centres at Chuka, Marimanti in Tharaka South and at Kianjogi in Maara constituency.

The launch was attended by residents from the county, Governor Muthomi Njuki, County Commissioner Beverly Opwora and area MP Patrick Munene. PS Kimutai was the chief guest during the event.

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