Nakuru launches Sh570m dairy value chain strategic plan

Pokea Farm owner James Ndung’u (right) explains a point to Nakuru County Agriculture Executive Immaculate Njuthe Maina (left), Kenya Dairy Board Managing Directory Margaret Kibogy and PS Livestock Hilary Kimutai (second right) during the launch of Nakuru County Dairy Value Chain Strategic Plan 2019-2023 on September 14 in Njoro.

Photo credit: Francis Mureithi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The average productivity per cow in Nakuru is estimated to be seven litres of milk per cow per day and the average production per lactation is 2,100 litres.
  • Dr Maina attributed the low productivity to poor feeds, inadequate breeding services, ineffective disease control and lack of veterinary services.

 Nakuru County has launched a five-year dairy value chain strategic plan to boost food security in the devolved unit.

Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Executive Immaculate Njuthe Maina said the strategic plan is critical in the alignment of dairy development programmes as the county seeks to develop a robust dairy value chain.

 “The strategic plan is a roadmap to guide the directorate in designing and defining interventions to improve the performance of the dairy sub-sector in the county,” said Dr Maina.

The strategic plan, launched in Pokea Farm in Njoro Sub-County on Monday, seeks to address inefficient institutional policy and legal frameworks and inadequate access to quality and affordable inputs and services.

Veterinary services

The plan, which will run from 2019 to 2023, will also address quality and safety of dairy products, low milk production, inefficient markets and unstable market prices, inappropriate land-use practices and post-harvest losses of dairy products.

The average productivity per cow in Nakuru is estimated to be seven litres of milk per cow per day and the average production per lactation is 2,100 litres.

This is low compared to the leading global productivity per cow of 42 litres and 12,000 litres per lactation period.

Dr Maina attributed the low productivity to poor feeds, inadequate breeding services, ineffective disease control and lack of veterinary services.

Other factors are inadequate extension services, low adoption of technology, inadequate research, lack of extension services, unaffordable credit facilities and poor access to markets. Lack of trained inseminators and milk cooling facilities are other challenges facing the industry.

Development partners

Dr Maina said the cost of implementing the strategic plan is Sh570 million. The project will be supported by other stakeholders, including semi-autonomous government agencies, the private sector and development partners.

Some of the private milk processors in the county which are expected to play a key role in the success of the strategic plan include Happy Cow, Bahati Agro and Suka Dairies. Nakuru has about 27 active registered dairy co-operatives. 

Last year, some 144 million litres of milk was sold, earning the county dairy farmers more than Sh9 billion.

fmureithi@ke.nationmedia.com