KENYA –Bio Foods Ltd, a producer and marketer of premium dairy products in Kenya, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Elgeyo Marakwet county in an effort to improve the dairy sector in the county.

The MoU will see Bio Foods ltd train dairy farmers in the county in profitable dairy farming practices and according to the company’s executive chairman, Joachim Westerveld, the company will also provide a market for these farmers, offering them better prices.

In attendance at the discussion was the Agriculture and Livestock senior staff led by their CEC Edwin Seroney.

“We will work with the livestock extension officers in the county in imparting technical knowledge to farmers in feeds formulation and general management to increase milk production,” Westerveld said.

During the discussion that was centered around various local solutions in the county’s dairy sector, the county governor Wisley Rotich said that despite the livestock sector being a significant source of income for the farmers, it has been steadily deteriorating due to a number of factors.

One of the main factors discussed was the high cost of feed. “The high cost of feeds has pushed several farmers in the dairy sector out of production and this is one area Bio Foods will focus on to help our farmers access affordable livestock feed so as bring them to profitability,” Mr Westerveld agreed.

Governor Rotich also communicated that the government had distributed milk coolers to several farming cooperatives in the county but most of them were underutilized.

“Most farmers have abandoned dairy farming after realizing that the income they get from their dairy animals was not commensurate with the inputs as a result of the high cost of feeds,” he noted.

He welcomed the company’s operations in the county expressing that his administration was keen on linking the local dairy farmers to milk processing companies to improve local milk production and hence improve the livelihoods of the smallholder farmers.

“This is in line with my Pesa Mfukoni program which seeks to increase household earnings through cash crop and dairy farming among other lines of production,” said the governor.

According to him, the training will be highly beneficial as the company assured him that it will not be changing how farmers manage their animals but improve what they have been doing.

“The Bio Food Company will be using locally available resources to improve on the feeds and also the management of the animals,” he said.

Bio Foods kicked off the operations of the MoU with the training of 30 farmers done that very day.

The governor communicated that due to a shortage in personnel, the county will be adopting the lead farmer approach, where a few farmers are trained who in turn train other farmers.

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