Above all noises being experienced, Dairy project is indeed good for the county.

The moment

The moment

By Nick Oluoch

Last week, Migori Governor Okoth Obado launched or rather ‘flagged off’ as the event is now popularly referred to, a dairy project aimed at reducing milk shortage in the county.

The event saw some 150 dairy cows and 49 specialised sahiwal bulls distributed across all the forty wards in the county and is the second phase after phase one in March last year where another batch of 150 dairy cows were distributed to 33 wards.

Now the ‘flagging off’ exercise has become an instant hit in the media, especially the social media where tens of memes have been developed as bloggers deliriously and even sarcastically feast on the story.

While I do not hold brief for the county government and in fact has had issues with a few projects they have opted to prioritise, I believe that the criticism of the dairy project has been not only over the top, but also baseless.

It is unfortunate that a lot of critics of the exercise have opted to zero down on the ‘flagging off’ part while conveniently and deliberately turning a blind eye to the core purpose of the exercise; promoting dairy farming within the county.

This is one project which makes genuine attempt at improving the lives of the beneficiaries. Roads, hospitals, ECD classes, etc name them have been launched by the county government and they are all good. But the dairy project goes beyond what all these have done; it’s more like giving the beneficiaries capital to really get moving.

And let’s get beyond the rhetoric here and look at the project for what it is; a honest attempt to improve the lives of the county residents through self employment, as well as ensuring that the county not only has enough milk for its own consumption, but even export some. Surely giving out dairy cows for free to county residents to boost milk production can’t be such a terrible thing, not to me anyway.

Migori County needs some 88,000 litres of milk every day; we as a county produces less than a third of this meaning that millions of shillings are spent buying milk from other areas.

It has taken almost ten years for some of the benefits of the ‘nusu mkate’ government to be fully felt and I hope five years down the line we will be having our own dairy company.

And whether the project succeeds or not is another thing altogether and will by large depend on how the beneficiaries of the project decides to handle the livestock they have received. Should they decide to slaughter or sell them (And I honestly hope they don’t get to this) then the blame will be on them.