“I Benefited from Kiambu Dairy Project” Edward Kinyanjui 70, Gituamba, Gatundu North

“I met Caritas Nairobi field officers who were at the time mobilizing farmers with cows for the Kiambu  Dairy Project Artificial Insemination services. I was this as an opportunity that would eventually enable this as an opportunity that would eventually enable me supplement my monthly income of between Ksh. 4, 000 and Ksh.6, 000 from increased milk production.

Going by the fact the Caritas Nairobi is a reputable Organisation and it has become a household  name in this region since it has ongoing project, I instantaneously signed up for the project and joined a farmers group, Gituamba Dairy Farmers Group, as the project required.

August last year, my cow was serviced with high quality gender selected semen. The current market price for similar semen is between Ksh8, 000–Ksh. 10, 000, this is quiet costly and there no guarantee that a heifer will be calved.

May this year, as guaranteed, my cow calved a heifer. This is quite encouraging and I am now hopeful that milk production in my farm will also increase. Caritas Nairobi field officers have continuously been training us on livestock keeping and issuing fodder seeds for free.

Majority of farmers in my groups have benefited from the AI services. Out of the 25 groups members , 22 members have had their cows services and are currently awaiting calving. This project has empowered farmers and as a community, we are hopeful that dairy enterprises in this region will develop.”

“I now Own a Hybrid Cow” Samuel Mwangi, 60, in Hawatathi, Gatundu North.

“The Kiambu Dairy Project is transforming the dairy industry at the community level. Farmers are empowered with skills and resources, which enable them to become independent. As a beneficiary of this project I can confidently say that Caritas Nairobi is enabling me realise my dream of large-scale dairy farming.

I am a small- scale farmer practising mix farming. I generate income from selling my farm produce mostly milk and tea. From these, I generate between Ksh.2, 000 and Ksh.4, 000 per month. These earning are meagre, as I am barely able to cater for my needs.

At most, my cow only produces 6 litres of milk per day from which I sell 4 litres at Ksh.25 Shillings per litre. My desire has always been to venture into large-scale dairy farming, but my income cannot afford ,e a hybrid cow that can produce more milk and also calve hybrids. When I learnt about the Caritas Nairobi Artificial Insemination project, I felt relieved because with their assistance, my dream will not be farfetched.

I joined a farmers group and towards the end of August last year, my cow was serviced. The heifer was calved this year. The Caritas Nairobi project has truly renewed my hopes, I am sure that eventually I will be able to produce milk on a large scale. Additionally, the aspect of the farmers groups ensures the sustainability and it places farmers at a higher level to market for supply and negotiate for better prices.”

caritas nairobi a.i project

Kiambu Dairy Project A.I Project

Kiambu Dairy Project (KDP) is a two-year project and it was launched in partnership with Caritas Nairobi, Catholic Relief Services and the County Government of Kiambu being a key stakeholder. The project aims at increasing milk production in Kiambu County, a county that is home to several milk brands. Components of this project are Artificial insemination with gende- selected semen, formation of farmer groups, environmental conservation through indigenous tree planning and energy saving Jikos. Of the targeted 600 farmers, all have been reach, equally, cows that were services with gender-selected semen last year have calved hybrid heifer as expected.

Scope:

Kiambu County is among regions famous for milk production and is home to several dairy processors. Majority of farmers in this region rely on dairy farming as their main source of income. Reports indicate that Kiambu County has a high population of dairy cows however; the full potential of dairy farming in this county is yet to be realised. Prominent issues to cited as the cause of this underperformance is, lack of price control measures, raise and fall of corporatives, ethical issues surrounding Artificial Insemination and lack of knowledge at the grassroots level.

In an effort to develop dairy enterprises in Kiambu County and inline with Caritas Nairobi Strategic Plan GOAL 1 ‘To enhance self-reliance of 10, 000 targeted households within the ADN’, the agriculture programme launched the Kiambu Dairy Project (KDP) to enhance milk production.

The launch, in partnership with Catholic Relief Services and the County Government, KDP’s main component is Artificial Insemination Services with high quality gender selected semen for the production of hybrid cows capable of producing between 25-35 litres of milk per day. The beauty of this project is that, with the gender selected semen.

Project Goal:

To empower low-income families in Kiambu County with socio-economic stability and food security through sustainable dairy farming.

Project Targets and Timeline:

The two year project targeted 600 households in Kiambu’s Mutunguru, Githobokoni, Gituamba, Ituru and Kiriko.

Project Objectives:

  1. Improve dairy breeds in Kiambu County
  2. To Improved access and delivery of  A.I  services
  3. To improve dairy farming value chains for sustainable dairy production at the grassroots level
  4. To improve fodder management through continuous training and demonstrations activities
  5. To increase farmers knowledge on sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation
  6. Enhance market linkages through the formation of farmers groups.

Achievements:

  1. 600cows, the project’s target for artificial insemination services have been serviced.
  2. 24farmers’ groups have been formed
  3. a fully fledged farmers company has officially been launched- Faidi Farmers Limited Company
  4. More than600 farmers have been trained on sustainable and environmental friendly agricultural practises.
  5. The project’s first heifers have been calved.
Caritas Nairobi Heifer Project

Heifer Project

This livelihood project loans heifers to vulnerable people who are particularly interested with dairy farming. This project has enabled farmers to access high yielding cows, which have in return enhanced milk production and improved their living standards. The heifer project uses a model that has been tried and tested around the world

Under this project, the loan is spread across three years and as soon as farmers start earning from the loan, they are required to start. Because the essence of this project is to reach out to many famers for sustainable development, beneficiaries must commit to passing on the first heifer calved to a new beneficiary in the project. To encourage this, once a farmer passes on the heifer, the loan is halved.

Famers are trained on livestock management and to promote self-reliance, they also receive resources to expand the cowsheds and feeds in the first three months.

“A gift that keeps on giving” Heifer beneficiary

Nicholas Mwangi, a beneficiary in Kiriko, Gatundu.

heifer_380

“A gift that keeps on giving is what I would term the Caritas Nairobi heifer project. July last year,I received my heifer from Mr. John Waweru who was a direct beneficiary from Caritas Nairobi.When his cow calved he passed it to me. Currently, my heifer is expectant and I am looking forward to passing it on.

From this project, I have not only been able to realize returns from the milk sales but also collected manure which I use in the farm and have enabled me yield better crops.

Through various training sessions organized by Caritas Nairobi, I have learnt a lot on livestock management. My only hope is that more farmers will benefit from this projects. Most people around Kiriko still languish in poverty and this project can really change the situation.”