Dairy Research Institute

Sahiwal herd for breeding at the KALRO Dairy Research Institute



About the Institute
The Dairy Research Institute is one of the Institutes under the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) established under the KALRO Act of 2013. It provides technical support to the dairy sector.  The Institute has a national mandate focusing on dairy related research. The goal is to develop appropriate sustainable innovations and cost effective technologies that will enhance productivity, thereby improving quality of life, equity and wealth.

The current dairy research institute's facility was established in 1903 then known as Agricultural Experimental Station. Initial interventions were in adaptation studies for exotic breeds, pasture and fodder studies, disease control, nutrition challenges and genetic improvement through artificial insemination. The Institute hosts the coordinating Centre of Regional Dairy Centre of Excellence (RDCoE) under the auspices of the Eastern Africa Agricultural Productivity Project. Kenya was identified as the appropriate host for the RDCoE due to its comparative advantage in the dairy industry in the region.

Kenya's dairy industry is constrained by inadequate feed resources, prevalence of diseases (especially tick borne), unavailability of quality replacement stock, low adoption of technologies, high cost of farm inputs (including fodder/pasture seeds), inefficient breeding services and low value addition.

The Institute is located in Naivasha in Nakuru County. It is about 100 km West of Nairobi along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.

Institute mandate
The Institute was established to address the above challenges. In addition the Institute will give emphasis on processing, product development and packaging and strengthening of research-extension linkages. It will also conduct research on dairy cattle, goats and camels and disseminate appropriate information and technology to users. The Institute's current research thrust are to:

1. Conduct basic, applied and adaptive dairy research for enhanced productivity, competitiveness and improved livelihoods in the country and the region.
2. Dairy genetic improvement through assisted reproductive Techniques, multiple ovulation and embryo transfer, crossbreeding, genotype x environment matching, breeding schemes
3. Pasture and fodder improvement covering breeding, agronomy, pest and disease management, germplasm conservation, hydroponics among others
4. Feeds and nutrition including agro-industrial by-products, fortified feeds, feed and food safety, probiotics, novel feeds, water, product development (Value addition, branding, product shelf life, protocols for product development) and quality assurance.
5. Crop-livestock integration encompassing farming systems, nutrient recycling, waste management, animal welfare and behavior, natural resource management and climate change.
6. Dairy socio-economics addressing baseline studies, market research, gender and equity issues, technology adoption and up-scaling, ex-ante and ex-post impact assessment, policy issues, outcome mapping, participatory monitoring and evaluation, research designs, data analysis and systems modeling.

The Institute has five major objectives:

1. To generate and promote technologies and innovations for demand-driven dairy product value chains.
2. To develop and promote markets and marketing strategies for dairy product value chains.
3. To facilitate and advocate policy option for enhancing demand-driven dairy product value-chains.
4. To strengthen the capacity for implementing dairy product value chains research.
5. To enhance availability of knowledge, information, and technologies on dairy product value chains research.

Institute Director,
Dairy Research Institute,
P.O. BOX 25-20117 Naivasha
Tel: + 020 2390930
email: Director.dri@kalro.org

Naivasha, Ol Joro Orok, Msabaha