State steps up commitment to support dairy farmers

Business Daily Kenya:  The Government plans to step up a programme designed to increase dairy farmers’ incomes through improved production ...

Business Daily Kenya: 

Dairy farming. Photo/Courtesy

The Government plans to step up a programme designed to increase dairy farmers’ incomes through improved production and access to favourable markets for their products.

Dubbed Smallholder Dairy Commercialisation Programme (SDCP), the plan to be undertaken in collaboration with counties seeks to enable farmers carry out commercial dairy production in order meet the demand of milk in the market.

Livestock Principal Secretary Andrew Tuimur said the programme was started by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in nine counties.

He said the United Nations agency has been funding the programme since 2006 in the counties and to date over 20,000 farmers have commercialised their dairy production against a target of 24,000 for phase one, majority of them women.

“These farmers have been able to increase their daily incomes from Sh130 to Sh386. This has come with a ripple-effect that has ensured farmers meet their daily needs comfortably,” said Dr Tuimur said in an interview recently.

IFAD, he said is reviewing the project later this year so that they can consider either to extend it or scale down funding. Tuimur confirmed that Kenya has initiated talks with the organisation with a view to having the programme it extended.

The PS said there are about one million rural poor households in the country that depend on dairy and dairy related products for their livelihoods. He, however, observed that most of them being smallholder dairy farmers have very minimal commercial skills so most of their products are sold at poor prices to middlemen or at farm gates.

The dairy farmers, he added, suffers from poor production compounded with bad markets resulting in low household incomes and nutritional challenge as the milk cannot meet the daily subsistence needs.

This, he said, has resulted in a cycle of poverty despite farmers having dairy animals that should lift them from this situation. Tuimur said IFAD and government has been working with smallholder farmers in Nakuru, Bungoma, Bomet, Kisii, Kakamega, Nandi, Nyamira, Trans Nzoia and Uasin Gishu counties.

The post State steps up commitment to support dairy farmers appeared first on Mediamax Network Limited.

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