Factors influencing sustainability of dairy goat projects: a case of integrated small livestock project in Mukurweini District, Central Province, Kenya
The Livestock sub-sector accounts for 12% of Kenya's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 40% to the agricultural GDP and employs 50% of agricultural labour force and the sector is dominated by small scale producers. Upgrading of indigenous goats with the exotic dairy goat breeds through development projects like Integrated Small Livestock Project (lSLP), developed high quality cross bred dairy goats with potential to produce more milk and meat and help contribute to poverty alleviation and nutrition deficiencies. The objective of the study was therefore to assess the factors influencing sustainability of dairy goat project in Mukurweini District. The study adopted a descriptive survey design and the target population was 211 persons drawn from the smallholder dairy goat groups, the divisional extension officers, and the community opinion leaders. Simple random sampling was adopted where representative sample of thirty percent (30%) of the 211 people was randomly sampled to get sixty six (66) respondents. Primary data was solicited through semi-structured questionnaires and personal interviews. The study established that goat farmers were involved from the project initiation mainly through chiefs' barazas and friends as reported by 50% and 46.7% of the dairy goat group officials respectively. It was also revealed that funding of the dairy goat project during the six years of implementation was adequate as reported by 66.7% of the dairy goat group officials as good and excellent and 33.3% as moderate. On the dairy goat breed introduced, the study indicated that they were prolific since 35% of the dairy goat group officials reported 11-21 offsprings while 45% reported more than 33 offsprings during the first year ofthe dairy goat project. On twinning, 28.3% ofthe dairy goat group officials reported 11-21% twinning and 48.3% reported more than 33% twinning. The overall management of the dairy goat project was good since 100% of the dairy goat group officials indicated that their groups were meeting monthly and 95% of them had been trained on group dynamics thus improving on group managerial skills. Still in management, 88.3% of the dairy goat group officials reported fewer incidences of diseases of the dairy goats, 65% reported more than 33 upgraded dairy goats sold on average per year per group and 100% reported an increase in income of the dairy goat group members. The following recommendations were made. There is a need to adequately prepare the beneficiaries of a project before embarking on the implementation. Project funding should be planned from the initiation stage so that all project activities are incorporated and budgeted for to ensure adequacy. On breed choice the government should be able to import the best breeds from reputable countries. There is need to continuously capacity build the goat farmers' in order to equip them with group managerial skills.