Sh200m liquid nitrogen plant commissioned in Kirinyaga
Dairy farmers in Mt Kenya region will from now on enjoy subsidised cost for Artificial Insemination (AI) services after a multimillion liquid nitrogen gas plant was commissioned for operation Friday.
Previously, farmers were required to pay between Sh1000 and 5000 thousands, which kept the services out of reach for many of the farmers.
The CEC for Agriculture in Kirinyaga County, Ngundo Warui, said the cost would now be reduced to as much as Sh500 to enable all farmers to benefit.
He said the county has strategised to improve milk production by double-digit numbers by making it easy for the farmers to access high quality semen for their animals.
The official said they would achieve the results through the use of public/private sector partnership where private AI service providers will be sourcing the gas and high quality animal semen at subsidised costs.
Warui said the service providers have been charging farmers exorbitant fees per animal due to the long distance between the county and Kabete in Kiambu where the crucial gas in AI procedures has been centrally produced since independence.
Speaking at the Animal Health and Industry Training Institute (AHITI) Ndomba during the commissioning ceremony, Dr Geoffrey Kamau, the chairman Kenya Animal Genetic Resources Centre said the plant will give the much required impetus to the area dairy sector due to easy and cheaper access to certified animal semen.
He said that by the county having AI service providers in virtually all the Sub-locations, farmers would receive instant and prompt services.
The Sh200 million plant will be producing 20 litres of the Nitrogen gas per hour and will also benefit farmers in Nyeri, Muranga, Embu, and lower parts of Tharaka-Nithi counties.
The project under the Kenya Animal Genetic Resources Center (KAGRC) will later be upgraded to serve pig and goat farmers in the same region, according to its chairman Dr Geoffrey Kamau.
The veterinarian said the pig and goat semen storage plant would be put up next year at a cost of Sh300 million, adding that currently pig farming is being carried out at heavy losses due to inbreeding in the absence of a certified semen provider in the country.
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