In 2013, the Participatory Analysis of Poverty and Livelihood Dynamics (PAPOLD) identified 51% of the Kakamega County population was living below the poverty line. And having identified the huge potential for the dairy value chain due to favourable climatic conditions, the County Government created a special-purpose programme dubbed the One-cow Initiative as an alternative source of income to sugarcane.
The programme successfully implemented since 2015, has reached 1,790 first-level beneficiary households and 1,016 second-level beneficiary households, improving their socio-economic status through improved and increased milk production, improved household incomes and nutrition, and on-farm employment opportunities.
The initiative involves the purchase and distribution of in-calf heifers to targeted and carefully selected beneficiaries across all the 60 wards in the County. The beneficiaries then pass on the first heifers from the donated cows to other selected beneficiaries within their localities. The farmers receive continuous extension services from Livestock Department staff, especially in areas of fodder development, calf-rearing, clean milk production, feeding, disease and proper record keeping.
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