Milk production has gone down by between five to 10 per cent because of the cold weather, the Ministry of Agriculture has said.
However, Chief Administrative Secretary Andrew Tuimur said yesterday the cost of a 500ml packet of milk will remain between Sh50 and Sh60.
“During the long rain season, there was an increase of about 40 per cent of milk production. But that has dropped to between five to 10 per cent in the last two months,” he said.
Tuimur spoke in Nairobi during a media briefing on the three-day African Dairy Conference and Exhibition to be held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre from August 22-24.
He urged farmers to plant fodder and make their own dairy feeds to reduce the cost of production.
When Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich read the budget on June 14, he said the government had removed taxes on nutrients for manufacturing feeds to ensure a vibrant dairy industry.
In the last decade, milk production in Kenya has increased from 2.2 billion litres annually to
5.2 billion litres.
Tuimur said this is as a result of State and private sector policies and strategies to grow the industry. He said the dairy industry is the single largest agricultural sub-sector.
He said the country was looking to open new export markets for processed milk in Zambia and Central Africa.
Kenya exports five per cent of milk to Tanzania, Uganda and the Middle East, while the rest is consumed locally.
Most of it is processed milk and products such as ghee and butter.
“Central Africa gets its milk from Europe through West Africa and we want to exploit this market.
“We are in discussion with Zambia. We hope to have resolved some pending issues by end of the year,” he said.
The dairy industry employs about 350,000 people in its marketing chain.
It sustains more than one million small-scale farmers, who produce 80 per cent of the country’s milk production.
Director of Eastern and Southern African Dairy Association Dr Kipkirui Langat said milk consumption in Kenya is one of the highest in the region at approximately 80-100 litres per capita per year.
This is half of the recommended World Health Organization consumption of 200 litres per capita per year, but much less compared to developed countries, Langat said.
Kenya has the potential to double the annual dairy products consumption if people are educated on their health benefits, he said.