Dairy farmers in Nyeri County earned a whooping Sh. 3.5 billion in 2019/2020 financial year from the sale of milk.
The farmers’ 178,000 dairy cows produced 115 million liters of milk; the bulk of which was sold to local consumers while a small amount was sold in the international market.
“During the year under review an estimated 115 million liters of milk was produced; with about 80 million liters having been sold formally through dairy cooperatives and self-help groups within the county,” said Nyeri Livestock Production and Fisheries acting Director Warugongo Theuri.
Dairy farming continues to be a major enterprise in Nyeri county with about 80 percent of the rural household keeping at least one dairy cow each. Most of the dairy animals are cross breeds of Friesian, Ayrshire, Guernsey and Jersey.
The animals are mainly under zero-grazing and semi intensive systems especially in Kieni sub counties.
Both the county and national governments have rolled out initiatives that have seen a significant rise in the production of milk mostly through supporting dairy cooperative societies, embracing value addition and construction of milk coolers powered by both hydro and solar generators in the last three years.
A total of 27 milk coolers have been put up with the county government financing five of them while 16 were constructed by the national government. Another five were financed by the Upper Tana Natural Resource Management Project and one courtesy of Eastern Africa Dairy Development project.
The coolers have played a major role in reducing wastage through shortening the distance to the processing plants.