Since 1902

Dairy farmers to benefit from Sh21m investment

The county government has invested over Sh21 million to boost dairy farming in the region.

The government has funded installation of milk coolers and pasteurisers in Mbooni, Kaiti, Makueni and Kilome sub-counties that are considered potential dairy producing areas of the semi-arid county.

Agriculture and Livestock Executive Ruth Kyatha said the government has invested Sh5.95 million in a milk processing and packaging plant, which will produce end-user milk products.

A similar plant and a pasteuriser have been installed at Wote by the national government through the Economic Stimulus Programme.

Ms Kyatha said the other parts of the county, with a substantive milk production have been installed with coolers to help in milk preservation and tap into the emerging dairy sector, which has in the past been totally neglected.

She added that the county realises an annual milk production of 17 million litres worth around  Sh595 million from the estimated 9,000 dairy farmers in the county.

"Milk production is poised to increase by more than 75 per cent in the next one year as farmers sell their produce through co-operative societies, and double in two years, making the sector worth more than Sh1 billion," she said.

Speaking in Kaiti and Kilome during the launch of the coolers, Deputy Governor Adelina Mwau said the county is embracing a multi-tasked development agenda to lift the county from the biting poverty.

The county becomes the second to invest in the coolers after Murang'a County, which in April invested close to Sh500 million in the dairy business to help farmers realise better returns.

The money was among other things budgeted to buy the coolers.