• Milk is among the basic commodities whose prices have skyrocketed with the product retailing at between Sh50 and Sh60 per half litre.
A firm has defended high milk prices, saying a lot of investment is channelled towards its processing.
Wakulima dairy milk processing plant chairman Muhika Mutahi said despite firms buying the produce from farmers at a relatively low cost, a lot of money is used in the processing of the final products.
Milk is among the basic commodities whose prices have skyrocketed with the product retailing at between Sh50 and Sh60 per half litre.
Mutahi said in most cases, milk processing firms make minimal profits and in the worst case scenario no profit as a lot of money goes towards purchasing machines, paying staff and servicing loans.
“It is important to take trouble in finding out the value chain of processing milk. Many milk firms invest a lot into machines, electricity and other key facilities and infrastructure that are key in the value addition of the product," he said.
“Some firms may be servicing loans while other firms might be in the process of expanding their ventures. In the end, most of the money made by the processor does not go back into their pockets but to cater to other needs.”
Mutahi spoke on Friday in Kirimunge, Kirinyaga Central, during an event to celebrate Wakulima dairy’s one year of milk supply to triplets who were born early last year to Grace Wambui.
The mother, who comes from a needy background, could not produce enough breast milk to feed her babies.
Wambui’s plight was brought into the limelight by electronic and print media where she highlighted challenges in breastfeeding her infants.
She said she had been forced to turn to infant formula, which was unaffordable.
The milk firm came to her rescue and has been supplying milk products to the three babies.
The milk formula they were fed on in the first six months cost the company Sh80,000. They then started feeding on processed cow milk, which the company has been supplying to date.
The triplets celebrated their first birthday three weeks ago.
The former Mukurweini MP said the company was delighted with the progress the triplets had made and pledged to continue supporting the single mother.
“We are happy that the girls have continued to grow strong and healthy right from the early days of their birth. We are appreciative that we have walked the journey with them up to this point.”
Wambui thanked the milk firm for responding to her cry for help, saying she had lost hope for the survival of her children.
“Wakulima revived my hope. Through their incessant supply of milk, my children have grown strong and healthy. I'm grateful to them for their unconditional help,” she said.
Edited by A.N