Since its inception in 2021, the school milk program has seen improved enrollment in schools, the creation of employment, and enhanced child health and nutrition.
The program, that was initiated by Bomet Governor Prof. Hillary Barchok, has seen pre-primary school children issued with a packet of milk twice a week.
According to Education and Vocational Training Chief Officer Dr. Kiprotich Keter, the milk issued to the pupils has improved their health owing to its calcium, protein, and vitamin components.
Dr. Keter said the county has seen significant improvement in the 365 early childhood development centers in the county.
He said the department joined hands with local bodaboda saccos, who were responsible for transporting the milk from local processing plants to various ECD schools.
He said the arrangement has seen bodaboda riders cash in on it while ensuring timely and efficient transportation of the milk to far-flung areas where vehicles cannot access them.
‘This is a multi-sectoral approach. We wanted to ensure that all of us benefit from the program, including the local community,’ he said.
The CO said local farmers have a reason to smile due to improved milk prices, unlike in the past when they were exploited by unscrupulous milk dealers.
He said the success of the program has attracted the attention of Kenya Dairy Board School Milk Program Officer Joyce Cerere, who visited the county Tuesday on a bench marking mission.
Ms. Cerere expressed admiration for the program while commenting on its holistic approach, which ensures it benefits farmers and the community.
Dr. Keter further noted that officials from the Dairy Development Authority of Uganda paid a visit, signifying that the program has become a model in the region.
Bomet Deputy Governor Shadrach Rotich expressed hopes that the success of the milk program would attract partners and support for the dairy sector, which the county strives to maintain as a dairy county.
Source: Kenya News Agency