Kenya: Export Growth Piles Pressure On Milk Price

KENYA - Dairy farmers are hoping for better times ahead following the start of a costing review by the Government that sets the optimal producer prices for milk as export demand rises.
calendar icon 3 August 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
The ongoing review commissioned by the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries development is expected to establish the prevailing cost of producing milk following increase in costs of farm inputs.

"After we do the review, we will know the minimum pay that farmers should be given and we will recommend this to milk processors," the director of livestock, Mr Julius Kiptarus told the Business Daily.

Recent past reviews saw the producer price of milk double from a paltry eight shillings in 2002 to the current Sh16 to Sh20 a litre. Results of the review are expected to be released during next week's livestock and fisheries week.

The review, which is being carried out by the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, KARI, at the Naivasha station and will determine costings in zero grazing, semi -zero grazing, and open grazing.

Zero grazing involves rearing cattle in total enclosures while semi zero grazing refers to practices where animals are let out of their enclosures at times. Open grazing involves only herding in open grasslands.

The director of KARI's Naivasha station Dr John Kariuki said that the costing will also take into account the variations in milk producing regions.

"People farming near towns usually incur more expenses. Others in rainfall areas have less expenses compared to those in dry areas," said Dr Kariuki.

Farm inputs like feeds and drugs, however, have been increasing as farmers turn to zero grazing due to declining pasture land.

Subdivision of land, especially in the high milk producing regions of Central Kenya and Rift Valley has affected the country's 600,000 small scale farmers.

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