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Dairy farmers trained on cutting production cost, feeding styles

By Muchiri Ndirangu
A Rift Valley Machinery Services Limited employee demonstrates on how to use machinery to make silage. (Muchiri Ndirangu, Standard))

The major problem affecting dairy farmers are the high cost of production and feeding.

 Avantuah Ventures CEO Martin Ndirangu says in central region, farmers spend about Sh27 to produce a liter of milk but sell the produce at only Sh37 to cooperatives, some even for as low as Sh30.

 He said most farmers also do not know how to feed their dairy cows so as to produce more milk.

“Farmers do not know that their animals also need a balanced diet. A cow needs protein, energy, vitamins and minerals salts,” he said.

 He was speaking during the Nyeri County Dairy Farmers Summit Exhibition and Tradefair held at the Dedan Kimathi grounds in Nyeri town on Wednesday.

Avantuah Ventures which was one of the major organizers of the event trains farmers through holding capacity building forums. It basically focuses on youth and showing the general public on opportunities available in agriculture.

The event was meant to help farmers lower the cost of production, train them on proper feeding of their animals and increase their profit.

The event brought together more than 65 exhibitors who are the biggest stakeholders in the dairy industry while over 4000 farmers attended the event.

It was themed: Empower dairy farmers for food security and economic development.

“The reason of coming up with this event is because we saw that very many farmers around Nyeri County lack information on how to go about many agribusiness ventures. So we found it necessary for them to have information from key players in the industry,” he said.

He said some exhibitors were training farmers on feed formulation to enable them make their own feed reducing production cost.

A bag of, for instance dairy meal, goes for Sh 2400 but the cost is reduced to Sh 1200 when a farmer purchases raw materials and formulates the feed at home.

 This reduces the cost of feed by 50 per cent, he said.

“These are the problems that the companies were meant to address through training of farmers,” he said.

Though Nyeri has the potential to produce plenty of fodder, they use poor way of conservation while others lack the knowledge of its growing.

 Farmers were therefore trained on conservation of feed through making of quality silage, what time to harvest and the best type of fodder for silage to plant.

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