A study by the Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development, a think tank which is part of Egerton University, says that the dairy sector is a success in the country as it supports smallholder farmers.

livestock
livestock
“The sector is one of the major employers in the country and has the potential for more growth both domestically and regionally due to the high milk consumption levels in Kenya and unmet demand in the region,” Dr. Simon Kimenju, a Research Fellow at the Institute said on Thursday in Nairobi.

The dairy sector is an important industry in Kenya accounting for four percent of the National GDP.

It supports more than one million smallholders and plays a critical role in food and nutrition security through milk consumption and increased household incomes.

However, the sector’s potential has continuously faced with high cost of production, declining land sizes, consumer concerns about milk quality and safety, lack of good quality animal breeds, and poor husbandry and farming practices.

According to Kimenju, there is need to address the high cost of feed concentrates so as to increase farmer returns by ensuring that manufactured feeds are of high quality.

“It is important that farmers are given the right types of feed and pasture and also be trained on good feeding practices, such as giving fodder crops that are of high nutrient-quantity and hence higher returns,” Kimenju added.

He observed that improved quality and feed formulation at farm-level has the potential to reduce the cost of feeds while ensuring quality.

“This will require that the government offers tax exemption on all raw materials used in the manufacture of feeds and the final products from Value Added Tax,” he said.

The study also calls for the introduction of small scale mechanization in the dairy industry especially in milking and feed making by adopting technologies such as small-scale milking machines and chaff-cutters. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/News Ghana

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