Elgeyo Marakwet County has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Bio Food products aimed at improving the livestock sector in the county.
According to the company’s Executive Chairman Joachim Westerveld, his organisation which deals with making milk by-products like yoghurt will provide a market for the farmers by offering them better prices.
“We will also 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,” the Chairman said.
On his part the, Governor Wisley Rotich said despite the livestock sector being one of the leading income earners for farmers in the county, the sector has been steadily going down for the last 10 years due to high cost of feeds.
The governor expressed regret that the government had distributed milk coolers to various farming cooperatives in the county but most of them were lying idle or were underutilized as farmers abandon dairy farming.
“Most farmers have abandoned dairy farming after realising 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 said.
He therefore termed the training by the Bio Food as highly beneficial to the farmers saying the company had assured him that they will not be changing how farmers manage their animals but improve on 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.
The governor said due to shortage of personnel, the county was adopting the lead farmer approach where a few farmers are trained and in turn train other farmers.