The Irish government has expressed its commitment to supporting dairy farming in Nyandarua County, through the Dairy Kenya Ireland project. The initiative that aims at contributing knowledge and on-farm practice in the creation and implementation of innovative climate-smart and economic production systems will see an increase in milk production and enhance the economic well-being of farmers. Speaking during a courtesy call to the Nyandarua Deputy Governor John Mathaara Mwangi, Irish Minister of State, Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Pippa Hackett noted that the partnership will focus on several critical areas including the comparison of different breeds/strains of dairy cattle managed under forage-based systems which will help identify the most suitable breeds for dairy farming in the region. This, she noted, will be crucial in considering factors such as milk production, disease resistance and adaptability to local conditions. ‘We will also focus on the development of an economic breeding index for dairy in the county to help farmers make informed decisions about breeding and selection of dairy cattle, considering both economic and genetic factors. ‘said Hackett The minister also said that establishing and operating a demonstration forage-based production system will also be part of the project’s initiatives noting that it will showcase best practices in forage production and utilization, which will help farmers improve their own forage production and management. ‘The project also aims to develop and implement training programs for extension agents and lead farmers which will provide training and support to these key stakeholders, helping them to share their knowledge and skills with other farmers in the region.’ added Hackett On his part deputy governor, Mwangi noted that the project will assist in improving dairy farming practices in the Nyandarua region which will lead to increased milk production and enhance the economic well-being of farmers and their families. ‘I will also take it upon myself to urge all our farmers in Nyandarua to consider practicing zero grazing to help increase their yields. This will enable us to grow fodder to complement dairy farming,’ said Mr. Mwangi The minister was accompanied by Irish Ambassador to Kenya Fionnuala Quinlan. Also present was the County Executive Committee member for Public Service, Administration, and devolution Dr Paul Wanjau.
Source: Kenya News Agency