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Kirinyaga launches AI service to improve breeds

CENTRAL
By Jane Mugambi | June 10th 2021
Governor Anne Waiguru with Kagric MD David Kios when she visited the Kenya Animal Genetic Resources Centre. [Jane Wangechi, Standard]

Kirinyaga County government has signed a deal with a state agency to improve dairy farming and better earnings for farmers in the region.

The arrangement, with Kenya Animal Genetic Resources Centre (KAGRC), will see farmers benefit from upgraded breeds through insemination of dairy cows with improved semen through Artificial Insemination (AI) services.

This will also see the production of breeds that produce more milk and are resistant to both diseases and harsh weather conditions.

Area Governor Anne Waiguru, who spoke at Ahiti Ndomba Research Centre in Mwea Constituency where the agreement was signed, said they intend to support 60 groups of dairy farmers to improve their production through the arrangement.

"The main objective of the project is to improve breeds of dairy cattle in the county with an ultimate goal of increasing milk production that will translate into better income for the farmers," Waiguru said on Wednesday.

She said they plan to inseminate 100,000 dairy cows with improved semen in the next year.

KAGRC will provide semen and liquid nitrogen while the county government will provide 80 AI coolers which will be distributed to the four dairy cooperative societies in the county.

“The aim is to increase milk production from the current five litres per cow per day to around 12 litres. Besides increased milk production, improved cattle breeds have a stronger immune system and therefore are less susceptible to diseases,” the governor said.

Kirinyaga’s annual milk production is 85 million litres which translated to an average income of Sh3 billion.

“Through our Wezesha Kirinyaga economic empowerment programme, my administration is committed to supporting dairy farmers to increase milk production so that their living standards can be uplifted,” Waiguru said.

She the county government has also provided dairy cooperatives with two 10,000-liter milk hauliers to ease transportation.

Additionally, Rung’eto and Kirima dairy cooperative societies will each receive 500-litre yoghurt making equipment while all the four cooperatives will be given generators so that production is not halted in the event of a power outage.

Earlier in 2018, the county government gave Podago and Rung’eto dairy cooperative societies milk cooling equipment which have gone a long way in saving farmers losses they used to incur through spoilt milk.

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