Murang’a County will spend Sh10 million in distributing special fodder seeds to its dairy farmers.
It is targeting 45,000 farmers in eight sub-counties in a partnership with the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (Kari.)
Livestock development executive Albert Mwaniki says beneficiaries will receive Kakamega One and Kakamega Two fodder seedlings in a revolving project.
“By June this year, we will have reached out to 15,000 farmers in the first phase of this project. It will later be rolled out to other farmers in six months,” he said.
Kari certified the seeds to contain 70 per cent of proteins upon maturity, said the official, adding the first beneficiaries will return the same stock of seeds to build up a reserve.
Francis Mwangi, the governor, said the pilot targets a thriving dairy sector, “one of our most promising economies in the county.”
He said the county has rolled out a semen subsidy that has seen farmers access artificial insemination at between Sh500 and Sh600, down from between Sh1,500 and Sh2,000.
The public private partnership, the governor said, has seen inbreeding eliminated and quality of stocks improved.
Meanwhile, the county has procured 35 milk coolers to boost the business, currently restricted to morning hours. Murang’a is planning a breeding centre for semen research, extraction, and developing heifers “for sale at subsidised costs to resident farmers.”
The county produces 600,000 litres of milk but eyes at least two million litres,” Mr Mwangi said.