Author: Peter Kiprop

10 Sep
By: Peter Kiprop 0

SMALL-SCALE FARMERS BEGIN TO REAP THE BENEFITS OF MECHANIZATION

The County Government of Nandi, Department of Agriculture and Cooperative Development is supporting small scale farmers in the county organized in Common Interest Groups CIGs and Cooperative Societies with expertise and technologies through the county Agricultural Mechanization Services AMS to improve farm
productivity and increase their yields.

The administration continues to implement ways of achieving both the President’s Big Four Agenda on Food Security as well as the County Integrated Development Plan CIDP which includes mechanized farming, use of quality and certified seeds as well as appropriate inputs.

In partnership with the National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project NARIGP,
the administration has scaled up its reach to small scale farmers who in the past did not have access to certified seeds by transforming hundreds of progressive farmers
into seed multiplication agribusiness through mechanization.


To attain this, the department is empowering farmers organized in Producer Organizations POs scale up their production through the provision of both financial and extension support. Further to this, the county government has availed subsidized farming types of machinery to support farmers with the right equipment at favourable financial terms and thus increase productivity and income.


One such group of farmers to benefit from the programme include Nandi Potato Farmer’s Union which boasts of over 1500 members and who benefited from the NARIGP grants to a tune of Ksh 6.9M have managed to increase their production from 50 Kg 600 bags of potato in the last season to 50 Kg 4000 this season and are expecting to further increase their production in subsequent seasons.


The Union continues to reap the benefits of the County’s Agriculture Mechanization Services AMS including; tractors fitted with the implements to suit all stages of potato production. It has since utilized the machinery for ploughing, harrowing, applying fertilizer, weeding & hilling and now harvesting.


The group members are grateful for the County’s subsidized initiative noting that it has greatly saved them on time and money.

According to the PO’s chairperson Mr. Jairus Sugut, mechanization contributed to their timely preparation of land, efficient land use, and increased production. Mr. Sugut revealed that mechanization significantly reduced their cost of production while creating additional employment opportunities, particularly among women and
youth.


Speaking when he joined the society members in harvesting their 30 acre farm, Nandi Governor Stephen Sang noted that mechanization is a sure way of enhancing farmer’s productivity and increase their income. He challenged more farmers to embrace diversification and mechanization while urging them to use certified seeds among other appropriate inputs if they are to increase their production.

CECM for Agriculture and Cooperative Development Dr. Kiplimo Araap Lagat said that his department is supporting small holder farmers across the county to come together and form cooperatives so that they can leverage on the AMS machinery to ensure route optimization is achieved.


He encourages farmers and cooperatives to emulate Nandi Potato Cooperative Society and embrace mechanization and request for the affordable AMS services by simply calling the county’s toll-free call centre number 1548.



The County is also engaging Hello Tractor, one of the DAT Cohorts, in a bid to digitize the process of booking, requesting, and the overall management of AMS services. #TugaTai #TransformingNandi

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20 Aug
By: Peter Kiprop 0

CONSTRUCTION OF NANDI CO-OPERATIVE CREAMERIES TAKING SHAPE

The dream of setting up the first farmer owned Milk Processing Plant in Nandi is slowly becoming a reality with the construction of the first phase Nandi Cooperative Creameries NCC nearing completion in Mosop Sub-County.

The new state-of-the-art flagship project whose foundation stone was laid in April 2019, that will have capacity to process 100,000 litres of milk per day, is a dream project of Governor Sang’s administration.

The plant which is likely to be operational by June 2021 aims at empowering dairy farmers’ transition from primary production to value addition and agro processing so as to double their income and realize more profits.

Speaking on Tuesday while accompanying Chief Administrative Secretary for Livestock & Fisheries Hon. Linah Kilimo who was on a tour of dairy development projects in Nandi, CECM for Agriculture & Cooperative Development Dr. Kiplimo Araap Lagat said that his department is implementing projects and programmes aimed at boosting agricultural production, igniting value addition & improving lives of farmers.

This, he says, is in line with Governor Sang’s vision of transforming and uplifting the agriculture & livestock sectors in the county on modern lines.

On her part, the CAS commended Nandi County on the initiatives undertaken towards transforming the Agriculture sector which are in tandem with the President’s Big Four Agenda on Food Security. She lauded the county government’s effort to assist farmers improve on breeds of their dairy animals through the introduction of subsidized Artificial Insemination AI programme, in preparation for operationalizing NCC.

She said that her Livestock department will see to it that the capacity of Animal Health Assistants in Nandi who also double up as AI inseminators is built further to enable them improve on service delivery to the farmers.

“Regular refresher trainings and practice is key for successful AI thus the need to continually build the capacity of those who perform it if we wish to improve on our breeds and increase milk production,” she said.

In its first phase, Nandi Cooperative Creameries NCC will process Fresh milk, Long life milk, Yoghurt and Mala. The county will then deploy more equipment for Extended Life Shelf and Ultra Heat Treatment and processing ghee and butter in the second phase and subsequent phases.

At present, part of equipment for the first phase have been delivered in Kabiyet while the remaining are expected in site later this year.

Once complete, the facility targets to supply her milk to the Lake Region Economic Bloc LREB market which has a population estimated to over 14 million people. NCC will also be capable to process enough milk to supply pupils under the Early Childhood Development Education in Nandi County.
#TugaTai #TransformingNandi

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23 Sep
By: Peter Kiprop 0

MAKUENI’S AGRICULTURAL TEAM END THEIR 3 DAY BENCH MARKING TOUR OF NANDI

A group of farmers from Makueni County have concluded a three day Agricultural Education Tour of Nandi County. The group of 20 farmers visited various farmers cooperatives, farms and county projects across the county during their bench marking visit.

According to the team leader retired Major Mwania, the trip which was organized and sponsored by the County Government of Makueni in partnership with KENAFF was aimed at helping farmers gain a better understanding of agricultural production and to learn from the best how Farmers’ Cooperatives Societies (FCS) are managed and organized under one umbrella body such as the Nandi Dairy Farmers Cooperative Union, NDFCU.

“We felt that this tour was important for two reasons; the need to have a deeper understanding on Agricultural production and secondly how Farmers’ Cooperatives can be well organized and strengthened.” said Mjr. Mwania.

The team was received to Nandi County by Chief Officer for Agriculture Mr. Wilson K. Lelei who appreciated the team for choosing to come and bench-mark in Nandi. He challenged the visiting farmers to maximize the opportunity presented to them and ensure they go back home more knowledgeable than they came.

The team lauded efforts by the County Government of Nandi of supporting farmers especially through extension services, capacity building and for well thought out projects/programmes such as Nandi Cooperative Creameries (NCC) and AI Subsidy Programme promising to send more farmers from Makueni to learn and Benefit. #TransformingNandi

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05 Aug
By: Peter Kiprop 3

PHASE I CONSTRUCTION OF NANDI COOPERATIVE CREAMERIES (NCC) NOW AT 60%, SAYS JSC.

In efforts to revive the dairy sector in Nandi County, the County Government is constructing a Milk Processing Plant in Kabieyet ward, Mosop Sub County to encourage value addition and job creation.

The Government identifed Kabiyet due to its close proximity to major milk producing primary cooperative societies of the county.

To ensure this is achieved, the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) spearheading the implementation of this flagship project and constituting of the Nandi Dairy Cooperative Union (NDCU) officials, Government officials and the contractor held a meeting today to follow up on the progress of construction and equipping of the plant.

Among the issues discussed included the completion of the structure, supply & installation of equipment, aquisition of an additional parcel of land, electricity connection, water suppy and marketing strategy.

Earlier on, the committee inspected the construction works at Kabiyet whose construction is estimated at 60% and it’s expected to be complete September 2019. The JSC alluded that it intents to deliver Nandi Milk to the market on time.

Installation of milk coolers are underway across all the 30 wards in the county. And to increase milk production, the government through the department of Agriculture and Cooperative continue to offer quality AI semen at a subsidized price.

In line with Governor Sang’s manifesto, the Government through the plant intents to also supply pupils under the Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) in the entire county once the project complete.

Among the JSC members present at today’s meeting included CECM Agriculture Dr Kiplimo Araap Lagat, CECM for Trade Mr. Jacob Tanui and Tourism Wilson Taiy. Others included commitee Co-chair Mr. Rugut, COs Dr. Benerdate Tiony (Cooperatives) and Wilson Lelei (Agriculture).

#TransformingNandi

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18 Apr
By: Peter Kiprop 1

AI Service Providers Undergo Refresher Workshop

After Governor Sang’s administration subsidized the Artificial Insemination (AI) service fee to improve the genetic potential and the breeds of dairy animals in Nandi County, many farmers across the county can now afford the recommended AI service and the demand for the semen has greatly increased. In order to meet this huge demand, the County department of Agriculture & Co-operative Development through the directorate of veterinary services is determined to ensure that Artificial Insemination (AI) service providers across the county are well equipped, trained and facilitate to ensure all farmers taste and enjoy this transformation.

AI Service providers keenly following during the workshop

While addressing the workshop on Thursday, Chief Officer Agriculture Wilson Lelei noted that his department is keen in transforming the dairy sector and therefore the refresher course for the inseminators was not only timely but also very necessary. Mr. Lelei urged the participants to leverage on the opportunity presented to them and sharpen their skills in order to improve on service deliver.

Chief Officer Agriculture Wilson Lelei addressing the session

According to the directorate of livestock services, over 12,000 cows have been served with the government subsidized AI semen across the county since July 2018. This has been made possible by the recruitment of 45 new service providers who double as Animal Health Assistants and acquisition of 45 new motorcycle for each one of them.

Motorcycles for the AI Service providers.

Dr. Samson Bitok, the director Livestock services, said that the training is aimed at ensuring 99% conception rates. “We want to ensure that we have quality AI service that will result in high conception rate and that will eventually give us good population of the next generation of good quality, high performance heifer/dairy herd in Nandi County.” said Dr. Bitok.

Dr. Samson Bitok, Director Livestock.

This, he adds, will ensure that milk supply meet the demand not only for Nandi Cooperative Creameries (NCC) set to be established but also for the external demands.

The subsidized Artificial Insemination semen are readily available for Ksh 2200 sexed semen and Ksh 600 local conventional semen.

AI Service providers pose for a photo with the CECM Agriculture Dr. Kiplimo Araap Lagat.

Among the topics covered include semen production, semen handling and quality control, insemination technique and calf rearing among others. The main objective of the workshop was to build capacity of the AI service providers in order to enhance conception rates which will result to improved breeds and ultimately increased production of milk.

#TransformingNandi

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21 Mar
By: Peter Kiprop 0

Addressing Rampant Fragmentation and Wanton Sale of Agricultural Land.

Nandi Gaa Kaburwa council of elders on Thursday engaged in talks with the County Government of Nandi on how to leverage on long standing Nandi culture to attain Food Security as envisioned in the President’s Big Four Agenda and Governor Sang’s manifesto.

In an action plan reached in the consultative meeting, the County Government will be exploring how to codify and mainstream the Nandi culture to stream the wanton sale and rampant sub-divisions of land which fragmentation has a negative impact on Agricultural Productivity.

CECM for Agriculture and Co-operative Development Dr. Kiplimo Araap Lagat while addressing the council said that the official position of the Government is to keep control of the food producing land by leveraging on Nandi long standing cultures to maintain and/or attain food security in the county and country at large.

The council also welcomed the strides the County Government is making in pursuit to have investigative hearings into historical land injustices.

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19 Nov
By: Peter Kiprop 2

Nandi County Tea Farmers Rural-Sacco’s Consultative Meeting

Today, an association of tea farmers and other stakeholders in the industry held a consultative meeting with senior officials from the Cooperative Development department in an effort to find solutions to the challenges ailing the tea sector.

Tea farmers had an opportunity to engage and air their grievances bedevilling them to the CECM Agriculture & Cooperative Development Dr Kiplimo Araap Lagat, CO Cooperative Development Dr. Benedette Tiony, CO Agriculture Mr. Wilson Lelei and Director Cooperative Development Mr. Stalin Koech.

Some of the challenges highlighted by the farmers include high cost of production, poor governance among cooperatives, tea hawking where brokers continue to use information asymmetry to farmers disadvantage among others.

CECM Agriculture and Cooperative Development Dr, Kiplimo Lagat giving his remarks. {PHOTO COURTESY}

Dr Lagat reaffirmed his commitment to address and fix the problems in the industry once and for all in the interest of the tea farmers.

“We want to work with Sacco(s), cooperatives and societies hand in hand to fix the challenges faced by members”.

CO for Cooperatives Dr. Tiony agreed with Dr Lagat saying that societies need to fix the gaps of governance in their respective cooperative if they want to prosper.”

Chief Officer Cooperative Development Dr. Benedette Tiony

Mr. Lelei who is the CO in charge of Agriculture said that one of the solutions to the problems being faced by the sector can be addressed through introduction of a subsidy program that would see farmers get inputs at affordable prices.

Tea farming in Nandi is an important sector of the economy hence the need to support the sector that employs thousands of our residents and generates a lot of revenue to our county.#TransformingNandi

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15 Nov
By: Peter Kiprop 0

Meteitei Dairy Cooperative Society Receives A Milk Cooler

The Dairy sector in Nandi received a major boost today after the national Government delivered a milk cooler worth KES8.5M commissioned by the deputy president during the realignment of Government’s ‘Big Four Agenda’ on 24th September.

A lorry offloading the newly acquired milk cooler

A 3000 litres capacity milk cooler was delivered to Meteitei Dairy Cooperative Society which has a membership of over 300 farmers.

The County Government has set aside KES30M to support 30 cooperatives across the county to set up a structure that will host similar coolers.

Already a team from the department of Agriculture and Cooperative Development is visiting proposed milk cooling sites to assess and ascertain them before contractors move to site.

This is a milestone to both levels of governments as it complements the National Government’s Big Four Agenda on food security as well as the county’s vision to set up the first milk processing plant in the county.

#TransformingNandi

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