Ireland ambassador to Kenya H.E Fionnuala Quinlan has applauded efforts by the County Government of Nandi in transforming the dairy industry and making it a profitable venture through establishment of a value addition facility.
Ms. Fionnuala said that initiatives on dairy farming being championed by the county administration would go a long way in addressing perennial market challenges experienced by dairy farmers.
She made the remarks while visiting to check on the progress of Nandi Cooperative Creameries NCC at Kabiyet Ward, Mosop Sub County. The facility which will be the first Farmer owned Milk processing plant in the region with a capacity to process 100,000l of milk per/day and offer local unemployed youths livelihood opportunities.
Massive investment by the County Government in the sector has attracted the support of development partners including the Irish Government in collaboration with Heifer International who are investing in the county through a project on Catalytic Impact for Dairy Sector Growth in Nandi.
The project seeks to support in its first phase two Dairy Cooperatives namely; Lessos and Kabiyet Dairy Cooperatives and six other Cooperatives in subsequent phases to help develop their dairy business growth, dairy market expansion and introduction as well as scaling up of new technologies and business strategy Innovations that have potential for social and economic impact.
While visiting Lamaiwet Gaa Women group in Kabiyet Ward, the envoy was hugely impressed by the well organized and managed women group who are jointly supported by the County Government and Heifer International.
The women received the visitors at the home of one of their members Mrs Mirrium Talam who had just been blessed with a one week old heifer thanks to the AI Subsidy Programme and together with her husband could not hide their joy.
Heifer International Country Director George Odhiambo who accompanied the Ambassador commended the county Government Artificial Insemination programme which has boosted what Heifer is aiming to achieve.
Governor Sang who accompanied the Ambassador during the launch of the project said that his administration is investing in capacity building for dairy farmers through empowering their Cooperative Societies to venture into technologies that will increase milk production as the county focus on dairy value chain through the ongoing construction of NCC and 30 Milk Coolers across the county.
The visit culminated with the official launch of the Dairy Sector Catalytic Growth Project and issuance of cheques amounting Kshs 7.3m to Lessos and Kabiyet Farmer’s Dairy Cooperatives by H.E Governor Stephen Sang and Ireland ambassador to Kenya H.E Fionnuala Quinlan.
CECM for Agriculture and Cooperative Development Dr. Kiplimo Araap Lagat appreciated the good gesture by partners to compliment what the department of Livestock Production is doing to improve the quality of breeds in order to increase on both quality and volumes of milk production.
Dr. Lagat revealed that so far over 30 Producer Organization across the county have been mobilized to join the Nandi Dairy Cooperative Union.
Ms. Quinlan was accompanied accompanied by Heifer International Country Director George Odhiambo, Irish Deputy Head of Mission and head of Cooperation in Kenya Lisa Doherty and their teams.
The Irish Embassy through Heifer International reiterated their commitment to support Nandi Dairy Cooperative Union Producer Organizations POs increase their milk production in preparation for the operationalization of the processing plant.