Trans Nzoia: Dairy farmers form union to enhance productivity

Trans Nzoia Deputy Governor Dr. Stanley Tarus address dairy farmers during the launch of the Nzoia Dairy Farmers Co-operative Union in Kitale on September 5, 2019. Photo/CGTN

Dairy farmers’ cooperative societies in Trans Nzoia and Bungoma have joined hands to form a union geared towards boosting their returns through increased production and access to better markets.

The Nzoia Dairy Farmers Co-operative Union which was launched on Thursday in Kitale is an umbrella of 15 societies which have laid focus on increasing their economic base to the advantage of individual farmers.

“Trans Nzoia and its environs has never had a cooperative union in the past. The formation of this umbrella body will enable us to boost pour returns with an increased volume of production,” said the union’s chairman Robert Makhanu.

Mr. Makhanu said individual cooperative societies have had it rough in penetrating the highly competitive market which has seen giant processing firms dominate owing to capability to add value to the produce.

“Our end goal is to acquire the right infrastructure to have the capability to add value to our bulk production. In the meantime, we will be supplying our yield to the Brookside dairy ltd,” he said.

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Area Deputy Governor Dr. Stanley Tarus who graced the occasion challenged the farmers to look beyond milk production by incorporating other services that are associated with Dairy farming.

“Production of heifers is also another avenue which the union should venture in to capitalize in on the ready market from our neighbouring counties. Also take advantage of the membership base to form a savings and credit society,” said Dr. Tarus.

Livestock and Fisheries chief officer Shadrack Kimutai said enhanced Dairy farming will go a long way in boosting alternative forms of Agriculture in the region which has predominantly been relying on Maize production.

The county government recently employed five co-operative officers and five audit officers for our sub counties to assist in capacity building and assisting cooperatives to be compliant with regulations.