The University of Eldoret, Outreach and International Students’ Centre (OISC) in collaboration with the Department of Animal Science and the Uasin Gishu County Government held a farmers Training on Dairy Management on Wednesday, 31st May 2023 at ACK St. Paul’s Nariri, Megun Ward, Kesses Sub County, Uasin Gishu. This was in response to a request from the Ward Agricultural Officer on the need to train farmers in the Ward on Dairy Management following increased cases of infertility and calf mortality.
Eighty-two (82) participants attended the training including partners such as the Kenya Dairy Board North Rift Manager, representatives from Sun Culture, Sistema Bio and Lesere Feeds. The Kapseret Sub County Agricultural and Livestock Officers also attended the training.
The ward agricultural officer Mr. Joshua Rotich and the Chairman of the farmers group were the key planners of the event. Mr. Hillary Ketem (OISC staff) introduced the OISC team, outlining the purpose of the training. He highlighted that the University is committed to providing quality higher education through teaching, research, outreach and consultancy. One of the Outreach Centre’s role is to fulfill the outreach component through brokerage of information between the University and stakeholders.
Mrs. Monica Yator took the participants through the Dairy Management training covering the following topics; Breeds/Breeds Characteristics, Calf Management, Cow Management, Housing and Structures, Animal Nutrition and feeding, Diseases and Pest Control and Dairy as a business. Being a participatory form of training, the farmers had an opportunity to highlight the challenges they faced in Dairy Management. Some of the challenges were; infertility, low milk production, high mortality of calves and lack of awareness on handling of milk. During the plenary session, the famers had an opportunity to ask questions and clarification on various areas covered by the trainer.
Kenya Dairy Board staff elaborated their role as a regulator in the dairy industry, explaining the need to maintain proper hygiene in handling milk for the safety of all the consumers and access to export markets. They shared with the farmers the content of the Draft Dairy Industry Bill (2023), emphasizing on the need for self-regulation since the Board cannot be physically present in every farm.
Finally, the farmers appreciated the University for the training and requested for a follow-up training on Poultry farming as earlier requested.