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Dairy farmers urged to form a union

22 July 2013, 11:44 Wangui Joseph

Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua on Friday advised dairy farmers in his county to form one union.

Gachagua said farmers can only be able to dictate market prices and forward their grievances to authorities through one cooperative rather than small groups comprising of just ten members.

“The more you are the stronger you are. You should form one Nyeri dairy cooperative with all negotiating powers on behalf of the small scale farmer at the grass root,” advised Gachagua.

He noted that there were more than 23 dairy farmers groups across the county terming them as weak to pass an argument and that they frustrate each other by having varying prices therefore creating space for unscrupulous middlemen.

Gachagua said his government has dedicated adequate support and resources towards reviving the dairy sector in the region.

He was addressing a dairy farmers’ forum organized at Kabiruini Showground where farmers were given a platform to air their challenges.

Agriculture PS Romano Kiome, nderitu gachagua, far

The more than 300 farmers lamented that challenges including poor infrastructure, poor animal husbandry, high cost of animal feeds and Artificial Insemination (A.I) and lack of capital to expand their agricultural activities have hindered their growth.

More so, recent reports indicate that many of them have deserted the dairy farming sector to engage in other agricultural activities since the challenges have subsequently led to low production and income.

Gachagua reiterated his support for the overall agricultural sector for it is the chief economic activity in the County and assured the farmers that the problems will be addressed through a task force body.

He also complimented Charles Njoroge, a farmer from Mukurweini constituency who was declared as the best dairy farmer in the county. Njoroge has six cows that produce about 200 litres of milk daily.

Njoroge said farmers from other counties such as Meru have been visiting his farm to learn more about dairy farming and feeding habits to improve production.

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