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Lusaka to revive the dairy sector in Bungoma county

By Micah Sali.

 The county government of Bungoma has assured farmers that it will invest more resources in the next financial year in the dairy and poultry sector.

Speaking at St Elizabeth Lunao secondary school in Bumula constituency, Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka said that without sufficient production of milk, the dairy sector in the county will remain redundant.

In 2014 Governor Lusaka as a pioneer Governor, embarked on a dairy project by buying 450 dairy cows that were distributed in all the 45 wards as a grant to the farmers.

The project did not realize to its potential after losing his seat to erstwhile governor Wycliffe Wangamati who gave it a cold shoulder.

However, Lusaka who is going for a last term as governor, has declared that he will complete all the projects he begun  in 2014 but  stalled.

Two dairy farmer groups in 2014 were identified in the 45 wards and each received 10 dairy cows.

 The  dairy  project  was to run for  four years and bring  in a total of 2,250 dairy cows distributed  in all the 9 sub counties that would be a source of milk to a dairy plant that was earmarked to be established at Tongaren sub county.

However, Mr Wangamati had the plant relocated to  Webuye  town, a ghost town from the day Pan Paper collapsed.

The incomplete  plant  at Webuye that was built at an estimated cost of Sh300 million has become a white elephant project   and may never roar to life  due to  lack of supply of milk to the plant.

The dairy industry is one of the most lucrative agricultural and manufacturing activities, with great potential to turn around the nation’s economic potential.

According to the Kenya Dairy Board, Kenya has 4.5 million heads of dairy cattle producing 5.28 billion liters of milk annually, with only 600 million liters marketed formally and processed by about 30 milk processors and 67 mini dairies with a total production capacity of about 3.75 million liters per day.

 Kenya boasts of having the highest milk per capita consumption in Africa at 120 liters compared with the region’s average of 50 liters.

Once Lusaka invests in the dairy sector farmers will immensely benefit economically from the industry.

Kenya’s milk production levels are estimated to grow to 12 billion liters by 2030, with a growth intake to the formal processing sector rising to 1 billion liters in 2025.

Lusaka said that the distribution of fertilizer by the county government at the beginning of the year will improve the yields of maize and beans in the county.

“When you compare Bungoma to Busia this year as  far as maize yield is concerned  it’s like day and night,” said Lusaka.

Lusaka assured farmers that the county government will increase the supply of fertilizer next year to increase food production in the county.  

The County Executive Committee for Gender, Culture, Youth and Sports Eng. Agnes Wachiye with Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka

This coming financial year we will give cattle to dairy farmers to sustain the industry.

Lusaka said one group that was given 8 dairy cattle in 2014 has increased the number to 45 .

“I am happy that a group that received eight cattle has now increased the number to 45,”he added

 The Deputy Governor Jenipher Mbatiani said the government will also invest from the next financial year in poultry farming to improve the livelihood of farmers.

The County Executive Committee for Gender, Culture, Youth and Sports Eng. Agnes Wachiye said that he would invest in programs that will empower the youth  in wealth creation as well as support shaping their  talent .

The chief officer for Education Nicholas Kiboi assured parents that the scholarship program and bursaries will be sustained by the county government.

He called on form three students on scholarship who had dropped out of school due to go back to school.

The governor gave out I million in support of the laying of a foundation of a storey dormitory  at St Elizabeth Lunao secondary school in Bumula Sub County.




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