Uasin Gishu County through the department of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries is in the process of implementing the Dairy Sector Value Chain to create synergy from the farmer, to the processor, to the retailer and finally to the consumer.
Directors, Livestock, Veterinary and Sub County heads of Agriculture, Livestock and Veterinary were taken through training by Heifer International on Tuesday 20th Feb 2018 to see that the process is soon adopted by the County.
Opening the workshop at Hotel Baron in Eldoret, Dr. Victoria Tarus Chief Officer for the department of Agriculture, asked the officers to take responsibility of ensuring milk production that is currently approximated at 5 litres per cow in Uasin Gishu County rises.
“We cannot pride ourselves as a dairy County yet we barely do 5litres per cow! As dairy experts, we want you to take up the task of changing our Dairy production.
As a department, we need to come up with good data base that can help us know our farmers needs at hand” she said.
She asked the team to work on proposals that can fund their areas of expertise and embrace technology in their day to day work.
“Data will help us know where we were, where we are, and where we want to be and finally how to get there. I want to challenge the newly employed staff to embrace technology and to create a database for our farmers so that at the click of a button we can get all information about a specific farmer.” Dr. Tarus added.
Mr. Menjo who is the Dairy Expert consultant for Heifer International observed that the last animal census done in Kenya was over 30 years ago and hence currently the government uses approximates hence does not have the exact data of Dairy animals in the Country.
“There are opportunities in the Dairy sector. This is because the demand for Dairy products in the sub-Saharan Africa is expected to grow to 3.2% due to growing purchasing power and urbanization.
Unfortunately the growth in demand does not match the growth in the dairy sector. “Says Mr. Menjo.
This has hastened the need for synergy in the value chain. The role of the farmers in production of quality milk, to the role of the processor, marketing of the products and to the consumption of the same.
He was also keen on knowing the number farmers that use A.I services since there was an observation that the use of bulls was creeping back slowly.
Heifer International is working on funding several Counties in the Dairy sector, Uasin Gishu County being one of them.