KENYA – Dairy farmers in Kenyan Kiambu County are reaping the benefits of subsidized Artificial Insemination (AI) services aimed at enhancing the quality of dairy cattle breeds and improving earnings for farmers in the region.

Led by the Department of Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation, these services are being distributed across all sub-counties, aiming to enhance dairy farming practices and increase milk production.

Wilfred Mwenda, the County Executive Committee for Agriculture, highlighted the initiative’s objective of providing dairy farmers with improved breeds capable of yielding higher milk volumes, potentially doubling production from the current average of seven liters per cow per day to around 12 liters.

Mwenda urged all cattle farmers in the county to capitalize on the certified semen and liquid nitrogen provided by the Kenya Animal Genetic Resource Centre, available at subsidized rates.

“We are calling upon all of the county’s cattle farmers to visit our sub-county offices in their areas and take advantage of our certified semen and liquid nitrogen from the Kenya Animal Genetic Resource Centre.”

Initially, farmers bore the burden of paying between Sh1000 to Sh2000 per cow served, but the initiative has significantly reduced costs to Sh500 per animal.

Mwenda emphasized that the Department’s sub-county offices have been equipped with essential resources such as semen, nitrogen tanks, and technical expertise to facilitate AI services for dairy farmers.

“The ultimate goal of this program is to empower farmers to enhance milk production and improve their livelihoods,” Mwenda stated.

“The partnership between the County Government and the Kenya Animal Genetic Resource Centre (KAGRIC) has played a major role in reducing AI service costs while simultaneously enhancing the quality of cattle breeds obtained by farmers.”

Grace Wanjiku, a beneficiary farmer from Githunguri Sub County, shared her success story, expressing gratitude for the support received from the county government.

When I started, I just had two cows, but now I have five cows. So far, four of my cows have been served with the improved breed semen, and I am expecting more calves before the year ends, and slowly I am expanding by adding my stock,” she said.

She eagerly anticipates increased milk production following the insemination of four of her cows with improved breed semen, illustrating the tangible impact of the initiative on individual farmers’ livelihoods.

Meanwhile, the Agriculture Sector Development Support Programme (ASDSP) has recognized Kiambu County as one of the leading milk producers in the country, boasting an annual production of 430 million liters.

Remarkably, while the national average production per cow stands at 10.1 liters per day, Kiambu has surpassed expectations with a production rate of 12.6 liters per cow.

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