RATIONALE FOR DAIRY ENTREPRISE SUPPORT
According to estimates, the dairy subsector is a major source of livelihoods for over 1,000,000 smallholder producers. The sub-sector provides employment to about 365,000 people along the milk value chain and contributes approximately 3.5% GDP IN Kenya .The sub-sector is characterized by small holder producers mainly producing cattle milk.However,due to inefficiencies related to small holding, Dairy goat production has been introduced ,but it faces a myriad of challenges related to breeding, husbandry and marketing.
Challenges and Opportunities In Dairy Goats
• Pool of exotic dairy goats
• Receptive farmers
• Pool of livestock professionals
• Improving health conscious market•
• High cost of credit
• High cost of inputs
• Low technology adaptation rates
• Low nutritional standards
• Supportive policy framework
• Market for Dairy goat products
• Market for goats
• Low genetic potential
• Dairy goat diseases
• Rapid technology change
• Climate change
Background of Umoja
Kiini Sustainable Initiative in collaboaration with Umoja Agricultural Project Centre is a development initiative that aims at improving farming systems in central Kenya ( Nyeri, Kirinyaga,Muranga ) through developing sustainable agricultural value chains. The goal of the initiatives is to increase the income of rural agricultural households that depend substantially on the production and trade of Agricultural/Livestock produce.
In order to actualize its goals, Umoja Agricultural centre will work with the following main objectives;
1. Technical Support
a)Improving husbandry practices
b) Promoting effective low cost extension models
c) Establishing an efficient breeding system
The programme will have the following activities
• Addressing relevant gaps identified in previous dairy goat programmes
• Providing technical back-up and follow-up.
• Facilitating progression of dairy goat business model.
• Exploitation of opportunities in the Dairy value chain.
• Creation of effective partnerships .
The business model adopted aims at supporting a Market oriented Dairy goat enterprise. Farmer groups that participated in previous programmes will be the initial focus. Trainings on husbandry, breed improvement through Artificial Insemination, registration and milk recording will be the initial activities. Through the groups, farmers will access services such as training, Artificial Insemination, Animal health ,Agro-Inputs and Extension
The following will be undertaken;
1. Livestock nutrition
a)Commercial Forage Production