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Brief news on farming and agribusiness in the country

Friday April 19 2019

Veterinary officials conduct artificial insemination on a dairy cow in Nyeri.

Veterinary officials conduct artificial insemination on a dairy cow in Nyeri. A programme poviding farmers in Taita Taveta with subsidised artificial insemination (AI) services has boosted dairy farming in the county. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

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AI services boost milk output

A programme that provides farmers in Taita Taveta with subsidised artificial insemination (AI) services has boosted dairy farming in the county.

Under the county government initiative, farmers are accessing subsidised semen for Sh200 instead of Sh2,000. The farmers say the initiative not only offers better animal breeds but also increases milk production.

“I now have two calves and get 10-15 litres of milk from each of my two cows. One is a Friesian and the other one is an Ayrshire,” said Mwangome Joseph, who is based in Mlondo village in Werugha.

Agriculture executive Davis Mwangoma said the county was keen to raise the quality of livestock and milk production.

“Farmers used to get expensive semen from private practitioners that forced some to use poor quality bulls,” he noted.

Wundanyi sub-county AI programme officer Dr Kennedy Mumo said some 2,500 dairy cows had been served in over a year.

He said farmers from Werugha, Mghange, Kishushe, Rong’e, Bura, Mbale and Sagalla among other areas had benefited.

-Lucy Mkanyika

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Alarm as youths in Kisumu shun agriculture

The Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) has raised the alarm over the high number of youths abandoning farming in Kisumu. ASK research shows the sector is dominated by farmers aged 50 to 70.

“From our research, most youths have a negative attitude towards agriculture. Many we interacted with see farming as a punishment,” said ASK Kisumu chairman Caleb Oguya.

The county director for agriculture Alfred Ajulu urged the youth to change their perception towards agribusiness. “In other counties, youths in the 30s have embraced technology to farm,” said Dr Ajulu.

Oguya said ASK Kisumu would partner with the county government to give the exhibition centre a facelift to attract business.

This year’s show is targeting at least a million visitors to boost the annual revenue.

“We hope to attract 130 local and international exhibitors. The Kisumu ASK show will open its door to the public from July 24 to 28,” he said

-Elizabeth Ojina