Dairy attendant pouring milk into a cooler. Busia County intends to intall milk coolers in three of its co-operatives to help in preserving the dairy product for the farmers.Photo courtesy.
Busia County dairy co-operatives namely Adungosi, Nambale and Busibwabo are each set to benefit from a milk cooler machine which will see milk supplied to the co-ops by farmers preserved to avoid wastages due to spoilage as they look for market for the produce.
The coolers which are made available courtesy of Send a Cow Kenya System initiative will enable the county government revamp the milk sector and further ensure each ward in the country gets milk coolers.
“Already there are programs to supply coolers in Butula and Funyula. We will be visiting farmers and co-operatives which have received the tools and machines for farming and health sanitation to ensure there is improvement,” said Busia Deputy Governor, Moses Mulomi.
The initiative will also target farmers who are rearing indigenous cows through the introduction of a technology which will see milk production improved to up their sales and income owing to the Sh700m budget allocation for the dairy sector in the county.
“Instead of selling off the animals due to low milk yields, we have introduced a new technology through the department of Veterinary Services where such animals will be serviced and milk production will increase,” said Chief Officer for Animal Resources, Richard Achiambo.
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In December 2016, the county government donated 35 dairy cows and 3,000 milk and meat goats across the county to enable farmers increase their milk production and up their income.
The project which was started in 2015 with 35 dairy cows given to selected groups in the 35 wards aims to increase milk production in the county from the current 6.5 litres per cow per day to 10 litres per cow per day.
Busia County needs 50,000 litres of milk a day but only produces 30,000 and imports from Uganda and neighbouring counties. This has been attributed to poor breeding and feeding that farmers subject their animals to.
However, the county had partnered with the International Livestock Research Institute to improve breeding, better feeding, health and livestock management.
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Chief Officer for Agriculture Ruth Mukhongo urged farmers to embrace the Send a Cow program to increase milk production and help improve their lives. She also thanked Send a Cow Kenya for bringing the services to Busia residents.
Send a Cow Kenya System coordinator, Sheila Halder and Head of Programs Anna said the project is aimed at improving the nutrition and health of 73,729 vulnerable men, women and children in western Kenya.
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