Embu dairy farmers are producing little and low-quality milk due to substandard feeds they give their livestock, an expert has said.
Animal health expert Dennis Murithi said that most companies were making and selling substandard feeds to farmers in the region.
“You will find a cow producing very little milk which is caused by mineral deficiency but when you engage the farmer he brings you a bucket of mineral salts,” Murithi said.
Speaking during a dairy farmers’ sensitisation meeting in Runyenjes town on Monday, dairy farmers said that they were not getting value for their investment.
“We buy the recommended feeds always, use supplements for our livestock, invest heavily but get very little from our cows and goats,” Johnson Mutwiri said.
Nyaga Gakwongo said despite giving his cattle the recommended dairy meal and other supplements, he only gets 10 litres of milk per cow.
Other farmers felt that they lacked proper knowledge of livestock rearing.
“When was the last time you saw animal production officers giving extension services to farmers?” a farmer asked.
The farmers are now calling upon the government’s Agriculture department to start offering extension services.
Experts urged them to venture into value addition for them to be able to compete with other emerging markets.
The farmers asked the Kenya Bureau of Standards to crack the whip on companies selling substandard feeds and minerals.
“For us to be saved from this agony, Kebs needs to do an intensive round up of companies manufacturing and selling substandard feeds,” Lydia Ireri said.
The farmers said if production was high then it would compensate for the low prices of milk.
Edited by R.Wamochie