Brookside Dairy distributes fodder material to farmers

Cows feeding at a farm. [iStockphoto]

Brookside Dairy Wednesday began distribution of fodder planting material to farmers.

The project will see smallholder farmers get cuttings of selected forage to help them increase milk production.

The fodder intervention project by Brookside seeks to address the challenge of seasonality in the local dairy industry, where milk production drops significantly during the dry weather on depressed forage cover.

Brookside rolled out the climate-smart animal feed intervention project this year by setting up forage resource centres across the country.

On Wednesday, the firm said it had concluded trials for the establishment of Super Napier grass at its forage resource centres, as it sought to enhance the accessibility of fodder planting material by farmers.                                                                                                                             

“After successful trials, we are glad to share cuttings of Super Napier with our farmers for onward establishment on their farms. This is a sustainability project that seeks to address the effects of vagaries of weather on milk production,” said Milk Procurement General Manager Emmanuel Kabaki during the launch of the project in Nakuru.

“We are glad to play a role in this initiative, which enables farmers to access the planting material, besides learning about various cultivars of forages, which could be beneficial to the dairy industry in the long run, as we address emerging challenges resulting from climate change,” he said. 

Mr Kabaki said Super Napier is a high-yielding green fodder that can give an output of up to 200 tonnes of forage per acre each year.

He encouraged farmers to apply best practices in the process of establishing the fodder, such as manure application, right spacing, top dressing and foliar spraying to improve growth of the forage. 

“Our investment in fodder establishment ensures that farmers get clean planting material that has vigour. The initiative also seeks to boost the accessibility of forage material by farmers, thus helping bring down the cost of fodder establishment on the farms.”

Mr Kabaki added that Brookside was committed to enhancing the quality and quantity of forage at the farm level by use of superior cultivars.

He said the milk processor has the capacity to handle increased capacity with the expected El Nino rains. 

“Our expanded processing capacity and sales market means we shall take in all the contracted milk volumes; hence at no time would we ration supply, even in the seasons of plenty. We will continue to buy all contract volumes supplied by our farmers.”


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