Governor Waititu Babayao has launched free Artificial Insemination program as promised in his manifesto. The flagship project is in line with the national development pillar of ensuring food security and is geared to provide AI services to dairy farmers in Kiambu at no cost.
Artificial Insemination has been a privatized service and dairy farmers continue to suffer from inaccessible and costly services especially in marginalised areas. This has had an impact of low genetic potential as many farmers result to the use of bulls adding a risk of inbreeding and overall decreased milk production and over time, a gradual reversal of the gains achieved prior to privatization.
Towards this endeavor, the County Government has signed an MOU with the Kenya Animal Genetics Resource Centre (KAGRC) for provision of high quality Kenyan semen which will be provided at no cost to dairy farmers in Kiambu County. These services will complement those being provided by the private sector especially in the remote areas where these challenges are exemplified.
The project targets to increase the yearly number of inseminations by 30,500, equivalent to a 55% increase and raise coverage of the annual inseminable herd close to over 50%.
The county government has further employed 15 competent animal health professionals who will be offering the AI services throughout all the sub-counties with aggressive awareness creation of Free AI provision to the public, farmers and private AI providers which will be on-going. The professionals have also been provided with off-road motorcycles and tools of work to ease service delivery.
Some benefits of artificial AI include; prevention of spread of diseases and sterility due to genital diseases, it also becomes unnecessary to maintain a bull for a herd hence saving on costs. Moreover, by regular examination of semen after collection and regular checking on fertility makes early detection of diseases possible as well as increasing the rate of conception