Over 128 farmers at Moiben Kuserwo ward in Marakwet West have benefited from heifers distributed by the county government of Elgeyo Marakwet at the cost of Sh5 million.
This comes as a relief to families at Cheptongei and Cheptulon Sub location who have been experiencing perennial shortage of milk thus depending on the neighboring county of Uasin Gishu for milk supply.
Moiben Kuserwo Member of County Assembly Thomas Kimunei who spoke to the press after distributing the said heifers at Cheptogei livestock holding ground on Thursday, said they conducted a need analysis and after public participation, the residents decided to invest their allocation on dairy cows.
“The people of my ward decided to leave all the other projects for the cows since they feel that this will benefit households directly and each family is set to get direct income from the cow by selling the milk,” he said.
Each cow distributed costs at most Sh50,000 and they are hybrid producing between 15 to 20 liters of milk the MCA said, noting that the farmers will now improve their breed and uplift their living standards.
He said the ward already has installed 5,000 liter capacity milk cooling plant that has been lying idle because the farmers had not been producing enough milk but now that they have the improved stock, they will upscale milk production.
Elgeyo Marakwet county deputy governor Wesley Rotich who launched off the pilot project said it will be replicated in other wards across the county such as Embobut, Sambirir, Kapsowar and Kaptarakwa ward.
“This project is directly benefiting individual families, the project will ensure that 128 families live above poverty line, because if each family produces average of 15 liters per day then they will have an income of about Sh18, 000,” he said.
The deputy governor said the project is in line with the President’s big four agenda of ensuring food security adding that “the county will also be promoting cash crops such as tea, coffee, macadamia and avocado.”
Elgeyo Marakwet passed the equitable development act that ensures that 60 per cent of the development funds are distributed equally to the wards and the remaining 40 per cent goes to the flagship projects as per the County Integrated Development plan (CIDP).
Meanwhile, for residents of this county, it is upon the residents of their respective wards to decide what to development money and Moiben Kuserwo ward decided to purchase dairy cows for each family using their allocation.