Nyandarua Governor, H.E Daniel Waithaka Mwangi today March 1, 2016 launched the subsidised Artificial Insemination (AI) Service in all the 25 wards of the county. The event took place in Miharati town, Kipipiri sub-county and was graced by area MP Hon. Samuel Gichigi, Speaker Hon. Ndegwa Wahome, area MCA Hon. Michael Kirumba, chairman of Agriculture Committee Hon. KImani Njiraini, Agriculture Executive Hon. Agatha Thuo and CEC Members Hon. Nderi Ndiani (Finance) and Hon. Peter Gathimba ( Tourism and Sports). Several other MCAs attended the event, senior government officials and representatives from the Kenya Animal Genetics Resource Center. The Governor also commissioned 50 AI providers in all the wards who have been provided with motorbikes to carry out the job. He took the opportunity to send bulk SMS message to farmers informing them of the event. The following is the full of the Governor’s Speech:
All protocol observed
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am delighted this morning to join you in the official launch of subsidized-mobile Artificial Insemination (AI) services in all the 25 wards of our great County.
This is the moment we have all been waiting for; a time when our farmers can access AI services affordably from their localities by simply making a telephone call.
For me, this is a dream come true: I have always longed for the day when our people will access AI services at affordable price and for quality animal breeds.
Indeed, one of the key promises I made to the people of Nyandarua County during the campaign period is to help them improve their breeds so they can produce high quantities of milk.
With the availability of AI services in the villages, our farmers are now assured of accessing high quality semen that will change our animal breeds to boost milk production and create wealth.
You are all aware that Nyandarua County derives its wealth mainly from agriculture. The Dairy Sub-sector forms a large proportion of the entire agricultural sector alongside other value chains like potato and horticulture.
Our county has approximately 317,000 dairy heads of cattle and the current annual milk production stands at 234 million litres with a value of over Sh7 billion.
I believe strongly that, with improved dairy herds, we have the capacity of producing ten times more the amount of milk we produce today and this can be achieved within a short period. This means our county can easily earn a whopping Sh70 billion from milk sales alone per annum in the next few years.
In a bid to unlock the dairy potential in our county, my Government has put massive investment in livestock production, veterinary services and dairy co-operatives.
My administration is currently working with the private sector to revamp the Artificial Insemination services in the county. The project aims at improving dairy genetics for increased productivity in our dairy animals.
Artificial Insemination services have previously been hampered by high cost, poor accessibility and availability. The private sector has been carrying out these services but with unsatisfactory performance.
My Government- through the department of agriculture, livestock and fisheries- mooted this project to address the simmering demand.
As I speak now, we have contracted 50 private AI providers to give services in the entire county. We have two AI providers in each of the 25 wards within the county.
At the same time, we have established 7 call centres across the county namely Ol’kalou, Milangine, Ol’joro-Orok, Ndaragwa, Kipipiri, Tulaga and Njabini. This means that A.I. services are now available in all these static points 24 hours per day!
My Government has provided all the 50 AI providers with complete AI kits, motorcycles, uniforms and riding gear. All the call centers are stocked with semen, liquid nitrogen and communication gadgets to improve communication between farmers and service providers.
To lower the cost of production and therefore improve profitability to our farmers, my Government has set a subsidized price of only Sh.700/= per insemination. This will automatically increase yields and income for our farmers and hence better livelihoods.
A Safaricom MPESA number has been activated through which payments for the services can be made by farmers seeking for the AI services.
This project is executed through a signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the recruited service providers and the Kenya Animal Genetics Resource Centre.
This project has a monitoring and evaluation component to ensure quality services and it is expected that it will significantly improve the affordability and quality of artificial insemination services in Nyandarua County.
The County Government has also put immense efforts in other areas of the Dairy sub-sector such as feeding.
To boost livestock production in the county, my Government has done the following:
Purchased 30 pulverisors and 8 Feed mixers and supplied them to farmers’ groups,
We have also established 10 biogas units and 10 zero grazing units in different secondary schools across the county,
We have trained farmers on fodder and silage making e.g nappier grass, lucerne, vetch etc.
In the veterinary field, my administration has invested heavily in disease control through procurement of vaccines and tick-control pesticides.
We have financed vaccination campaigns against Foot and Mouth Disease, Lumpy skin Disease and Rabies. In actual fact, I launched the vaccination campaign in Gathara ward in January and dairy herds were vaccinated across the county.
We have also rehabilitated at-least two cattle dips in every ward across the county to control East coast fever, anaplasmosis and Red water disease.
CO-OPERATIVES AND VALUE ADDITION
Commercialization of the Dairy sub-sector has been our cardinal and fundamental responsibility. My administration has revived several dairy co-operatives to help market dairy products.
We have assisted 3 co-operative societies with 3 milk dispensing machines.
We have assisted several co-operative societies with coolers and many more will be supplied this year.
Nyandarua County dairy co-operative processing plant has been started.
You are all aware the Deputy President H.E William Ruto visited our county two weeks ago and promised that the national government will supply us with 35 milk coolers to be stationed in all the wards.
I wish to take this opportunity to challenge milk-based co-operative societies to put up facilities in their areas where the coolers will be kept. This is will enable us store our raw milk in hygienic condition and only offload it to the market when it is convenient.
The steps we have taken to revamp this agriculture sector, particularly the dairy sub-sector will guarantee us good returns in the near future.
I also want to assure you of my government commitment to open the remaining rural-access roads to boost the transportation of our perishable farm produce including milk.
In fact, during this year 2015/2016, my administration has set aside a whopping Sh1.1 billion on road construction and maintenance. We have already worked on the Bill of Quantities (BQs) and contractors will be in every locality working on our roads.
Please go back with the assurance that together, we will make Nyandarua great again. Together, we will continue sharing in the challenges that may follow us in this project.
Together, we will continue to share in the responsibilities that will no doubt abide with us, and together, we will continue sharing the benefits that have for long marked out Nyandarua County as the home of milk and potatoes.