- The country produces about 5.2 billion litres of milk annually which the CS Chelgui said is too much for local consumption.
- The exports to be done through KCC will help empower local farmers by expanding the produce's market.
Kenya is seeking international milk markets, Co-operatives and Micro and Small Enterprises Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui has said.
He said the country's milk production currently stands at about 5.2 billion litres of milk annually which is outstrips local demand.
The CS said countries such as DRC are battling milk shortages and Kenyan farmers stand to benefit from such markets.
He said DRC with a population of 96 million sources its milk from France yet Kenya is much nearer and in the same trade bloc (EAC).
Chelugui said Ethiopia, with a population of 120 million, has also been struggling to satisfy its dairy needs
He said with its population projected to hit 150 million by 2050, Ethiopia’s milk production was 4.96 billion litres in 2021 with relatively low production per cow.
According to the CS a typical cow produces between one and two litres of milk daily that are either consumed at home or sold through informal market systems.
Ethiopia imports milk primarily from Saudi Arabia, France, United Arab Emirates, Italy and Denmark.
Chelugui said milk export is part of the government’s plan to implement its bottom-up economic model.
He said he plans to convene a consultative meeting with stakeholders in the dairy sector to discuss measures to cushion farmers following the high production occasioned by favourable weather.
The forum will discuss pricing issues and collection of milk, and is expected to come up with ways of up-taking the milk supply by farmers.
“We should not punish farmers who have worked hard to produce milk. We don’t want any farmer to pour their milk or be desperate because there is an over production”.
The consultative forum will also establish a federation that will be handling milk issues in the country, the CS said in Murang’a County on Monday.
He pledged to support Murang’a Co-operative Creameries (MCC), a milk processing plant that was established by the county government to add value to local milk.
“We support the consolidation of farmers through co-operatives and we will work with you through KCC to support farmers,” Chelugui said.
Deputy governor Stephen Munania had said the county government plans to help increase the amount of milk processed through the plant from the current 20,000 litres to 35,000 litres daily.
The factory that was shut down last year by the devolved unit and restored this year is in the process of being handed over to farmers.
The CS explained that the Sh4 billion released by the government last year to cushion coffee armers from poor prices will see farmers paid Sh40 per kilogram upon delivery to the co-operatives.
Another Sh40 will be paid once the coffee proceeds to a miller and if it fetches prices higher than Sh80 per kilogram, the extra money will also be channeled to farmers.
He explained that the Coffee Bill currently before the Senate and the Co-operatives Bill that was recently approved by Cabinet will help bring back Coffee Research Foundation stationed in Ruiru and the Coffee Board of Kenya to market the produce.
“Coffee is making a comeback. It will be fetching good prices and farmers will thrive. Murang’a used to be one of the highest coffee producer but now its lagging,” he said.