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Boost for dairy farmers as semen storage facility opens doors in Kirinyaga

CENTRAL
By Munene Kamau | August 10th 2016

Milk production in the county is expected to improve following the installation of an animal semen storage facility.

The Sh200 million liquid nitrogen plant, which has been commissioned at the Animal Health and Industry Training Institute (AHITI), Ndomba, has enabled dairy farmers to access artificial insemination services with ease.

Previously, the farmers depended on semen transported from Kabete, Kiambu County, making it costly for them to get artificial insemination services.

Private AI service providers have been charging farmers between Sh1,000 and Sh1,500 per insemination, which was high for most farmers.

SUBSIDISED COSTS

Agriculture and Livestock Development Executive Ngundo Warui said the county had entered into a partnership with the private AI service providers with a view to bringing down the costs.

"Through this partnership, we have subsidised the cost of AI services to ensure that farmers get high quality animal semen promptly since these service providers are virtually in every sub-location," he said.

Mr Warui said the distance between Kirinyaga and Kiambu counties was to blame for the high cost of AI services.

"AI services had become unaffordable for many farmers who resorted to using bulls. But this method has seen an upsurge in animal diseases as well as low milk production. With this plant now in place, that should no longer be the case," he said.

The plant is expected to produce 20 litres of nitrogen per hour and will also benefit farmers in Nyeri, Murang'a, Embu and parts of Tharaka-Nithi counties.

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