In Green: Mr. Muchiri, Waraza Cooperative Society in Nyeri
In the middle: Dr. Asaah Ndambi, Senior Researcher, Wageningen University and Research
Left side: Prof. John Mburu, Chairman Agricultural Economics Department
In Nyeri County, an estimated 80% of the households keep dairy animals deriving their livelihoods from the sub-sector. In the financial year 2019/2020, the Nyeri County Government estimated that dairy farmers earned an estimated KES 3.5 billion positioning dairy production as a major enterprise in the County.
However, as demand for milk continue to plummet amidst climate change effects resulting in decline in fodder and pasture quantity and quality, it is inevitable that farmers are continually supported with new knowledge and information on how best to manage their dairy production enterprises.
In quest to ensure sustained milk production and efficient marketing systems, the DIP in collaboration with Agriculture Sector Development Support Programme, Nyeri County have partnered with Africa Milk Project to empower dairy farmers.
The DIP is working with four dairy cooperatives; Mathaita, Slopes, Gakindu and Waraza and have established four demonstration plots on which they are demonstrating eleven different nutrient rich fodder crops. The demonstration farms will act as farmer field schools where farmers will be exposed to new fodder crops that are nutrient rich as well as other animal husbandry practices for increased milk yield.
Moreover, plans are underway to establish model routes that will demonstrate efficient and effective milk handling and transport system with the aim of reducing milk contamination and post-harvest losses. The DIP hopes that in future, the cooperatives will adopt a quality-based milk payment system that will ensure that farmers not only strive to ensure high yields but also quality.