Kirinyaga County supports group to manufacture animal feed – Kenya News Agency
A group of farmers in Kirinyaga County are now reaping the benefits of an economic empowerment program launched by Governor Anne Waiguru, which has enabled them to earn money from manufacturing animal feed.
The ACK Thaita Men’s Welfare Group in the central Kirinyaga constituency uses the equipment provided by the county government to make dairy feed for their own livestock and sell it to other farmers in the locality.
The initiative is one of Governor Waiguru’s Wezesha Kirinyaga economic empowerment programs that are transforming the lives of the local community through various agricultural value chain projects.
The Thaita Welfare Group has been provided with a factory and equipment for the manufacture of animal feed, which has greatly contributed to the economic empowerment of the members.
The group that started out as a tabletop bank has seen its members increase their income through improved milk production as they can now access affordable, high-quality dairy meals.
Gilbert Muriithi, the host farmer whose farm installed the feed mixer, explains that prior to receiving the machine, members were struggling with low milk production as feed purchased from other commercial dealers had a compromised quality, a challenge that led them to aspire to manufacture their own food.
“When we started blending our own food, we bought raw materials and used hands and shovels to mix, a process that was both tedious and slow and although we knew we needed a machine, it was too expensive and beyond our reach, ”said Julius Muriithi, another member of the group.
“We wrote a proposal to the county government to receive the machine and in no time our proposal was accepted and that’s how we started,” he added.
The group is among those supported by the county government to increase agricultural production.
Speaking at the Kenya Animal Genetic Resources Center (KAGRC) in Kutus, Governor Waiguru said her administration is helping dairy farmers produce quality feed for their animals as well as improve their dairy cattle breeds through the supply quality artificial insemination services.
“The county aims to increase milk production from the current average of five liters per cow per day to 12 liters per cow per day,” Waiguru said.
“As part of our Wezesha Kirinyaga economic empowerment program, we are helping farmers to increase their income with the aim of improving their standard of living,” she said.
She added that her administration has so far supported 473 farmer groups across the county through the National Inclusive Agricultural and Rural Growth Program (NARIGP).
Besides dairy farmers, other supported groups are involved in the production of poultry, tomato, avocado, fish, pork and beekeeping.
Waiguru said that through the program, farmers have been helped to diversify their agricultural production, which protects them from over-reliance on specific agricultural production.
By Irungu Mwangi