Ministry moves to stem milk glut with supply of coolers
The dairy sector is staring at a possible glut following the rising levels of production, prompting the government to start supplying coolers to cut losses.
The Ministry of Agriculture said it will supply milk coolers to co-operative societies in the counties.
Deputy director of Livestock Production Abraham Biwott said that the ongoing rains had significantly increased milk production and this was likely to result in oversupply that might see processors overwhelmed.
Latest industry report from Kenya Dairy Board indicates the volume has gone up from 47.9 million kilogrammes in January to 60.2 million Kgs in March, with the volumes expected to rise further.
Mr Biwott said the government was in the process of supplying 350 milk coolers under a grant from the Polish government.
It has already given out 70 coolers to different societies.
“There is a likelihood of experiencing a milk glut this season, and we want to supply these coolers that can hold the milk for up to 30 days without going bad to save farmers from losses,” he said.
Kenya has an annual processing capacity of 1.4 billion litres, which translates to 3.9 million litres daily. However, processors do not operate optimally because milk is diverted to the informal sector. Brookside has a capacity to process 1.5 million litres daily.
New KCC, which has 22 factories and 30 satellite coolers, is investing in new plants across the country that will see it double processing capacity from the current 750,000 litres per day.
Mr Biwott said no farmer will suffer as a result of glut this year as was the case in 2010 where thousands of litres of milk was poured as processors lacked capacity.
Mr Biwott said he had not expected a sudden growth in production as has happened.