Milk Sector Recovery Creates Demand for Heifers

KENYA - Growing demand for high-yielding dairy animals has caused a severe shortage of heifers in the country, forcing prices to nearly double in three years.
calendar icon 15 November 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
Industry players say the demand is mainly driven by dairy sector recovery over the past four years and the entry into the market of farmers from areas that were initially considered unsuitable for dairy farming.

With the national milk consumption set to rise to continue rising in the next five years, farmers in emerging dairy production areas such as Machakos have stepped up their search for high breed animals hoping to get their piece of the cake.

One such groups - the Masii Dairy Farm - that has been buying Friesian Holstein heifers for its members said it has had to extend its search to as far as Kitale in the North Rift to meet the demand.

Peter Nthuli, the chairman of the ranch group, told the Business Daily that prices of heifers have nearly doubled over the past three years as demand for animals exceeds supply.

"In 2004, a Friesian Holstein heifer at the Brookside Farm was priced at Sh90,000, but now costs Sh140,000," he said.

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