Factors influencing dairy productivity in Machakos County: a case of Wamunyu dairy Farmers Co-operative Society
The purpose of this study was to identify the various factors influencing Milk productivity in Machakos County, to establish the extent to which they influence productivity and come up with recommendations on how to manage them for Improved and sustainable Dairy production. The objectives of the study were: to evaluate the influence of social demographic factors of age, gender and education of the farmers on dairy productivity levels in Machakos County, to determine the extent to which Quality of breeds and breeding systems influence dairy productivity in Machakos County, to investigate the extent to which, Inputs influence Dairy productivity in Machakos County and to determine the extent to which adoption of new technologies influences the level of dairy productivity in Machakos County. The study was carried out in Wamunyu Dairy Farmers’ Co-operative Society in Mwala Sub- County Machakos County. The study used descriptive survey research design. A sample of 45 members was selected from a total of 224 active members of the society using cluster random sampling method. A semistructured questionnaire was used for data collection. The questionnaire was validated by experts from the University. Cronbach’s alpha method was used to affirm the reliability of the instrument. The questionnaire was found to be reliable with a reliability index of 80.5% the collected data was edited coded and analyzed using Statistical package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 17.0. The results of the study were presented in tables and percentages. The study established that social demographic factors such as age, gender and education levels of the farmers; cattle breeds and breeding systems, availability and cost of inputs and the adoption of technology influenced the level of dairy productivity in Wamunyu Dairy farmers’ Co-operative society in Machakos County. The study recommends that Sensitization be carried out to increase the participation of youth and women in dairy farming; Farmers be encouraged to have succession plans in place for continuity of the dairy industry; The National and County Governments and Non Governmental organizations should look for ways of subsidizing the cost of Artificial insemination Services. Farmer groups should form alliances for centralized procurement of inputs so as to benefit from economies of scale and increased bargaining power. Farmers and farmer groups should form Savings and credit Cooperatives to increase their access to financial services. The government and other nongovernmental actors should continue sensitizing farmers on new technology and methods that can be adopted to improve dairy productivity and mitigate the effects of climate change. Farmers should be encouraged and motivated to make silage during the wet season to ensure that they have adequate nutritional feeds for their animals during the dry season. The government should exempt silage making materials and other agricultural inputs from tax and increase the number of extension officers to increase their outreach. The findings of the study are useful to the dairy farmers, the farmer groups, The Lower Eastern Dairy Co-operative Alliance, the National Government, County government of Machakos and the Non Governmental Organizations interested in boosting milk productivity is semi arid regions.