Ogiek Peoples’ Development Program(OPDP) is implementing a commercial dairy farming project targeting Ogiek women in Nessuit ward, Njoro sub-county in Nakuru County.
This project has been financed through the generous contributions of donors donating through the Global Giving platform. Profoundly, Professor Corrine Kratz played a significant role in publicizing OPDP’s appeal for donations and thereto mobilizing donors to contribute towards the cause. OPDP is greatly thankful for her efforts.
This project aims at reducing poverty levels among the households in Ogiek community. The women will be selling raw milk. They would later process it into yoghurt, selling it at higher profits to be utilized in improving the socio-economic well-being of their families.
To start the project,14 women drawn from Misipei,Usonog and Ogiek women groups were on March 29,2018 trained on livestock production, networking, marketing and value addition.
Some of the women participants during the training.Photo/OPDP
Five women will each receive a first in-calf heifer and upon calving they will surrender the calves to five other women should they be heifer-calves. This process will continue until all women benefit.
While opening the training Mr Daniel Kobei,OPDP’s Executive Director said commercial dairy farming is a profitable business that can lift Ogiek households out of poverty.
“The women will be able to earn an impressive income and in the long-term improve their welfare and that of their of families,” he said.
He added that: “ In developed societies, women have played a key role in tackling poverty through the various income generating activities they engage.It is very important that the needs of women are integrated in every aspect of development.”
Ogiek is one the marginalized communities in Kenya with very low literacy levels manifested across its demographics. Deprivation of their land rights has complicated their situation owing to the fact that their access to land has been limited.
Mr Eric Kimalit, an expert in livestock management and production trained the women on selection of feeds and feeding schedules; performance indicators in management of dairy cows; record keeping; maintaining and controlling the quality of milk along the value chain; how to add value to milk and create marketing networks.
“Commercial dairy farming requires proper planning and meticulous care of cows and handling of milk. It is exciting that women are very receptive of the information. That is a good indicator that they will do well in managing the cows,” said Mr Kimalit.
Ms. Margaret Nabeto,a member of Ogiek Women group said she was excited to learn effective techniques of rearing a dairy cow.
“Now I know that a cow should drink clean water just like a human being and the water should be available all the time,” said Ms Nabeto.
“I have learnt a lot and I am grateful to OPDP for granting me the opportunity to learn the best ways to take care of a dairy cow,” she added.
Following the training, three in-calf heifers were bought and delivered to three women who are utilizing the knowledge gained to take care of the cows.