Brookside Dairy’s target of breaking into the West African export market got a boost Thursday with a visit of its Ruiru processing factory by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.
Brookside executive chairman Muhoho Kenyatta said the dairy wants to start exports to the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), having already covered the East African market.
“Having been able to considerably satisfy the East African market with our products, we are keen in casting our vision and scope wider by venturing into the West African market,” said Mr Muhoho.
He noted that the processor wants to establish a partnership with the Ecowas member states in the dairy sector in order to boost revenue.
“It is our hope that together we can help to realise the same dream of dairy farming with our West African brothers and sisters,” he said.
Mr Buhari, who is in the country on a three-day State visit, toured the Brookside plant Thursday “to learn from Kenya’s dairy experience and transfer the same to Nigeria.”
“I am here with my minister for Agriculture so that we can learn the achievements of Brookside for us to borrow a leaf from it,” said Mr Buhari.
The Nigerian President said he had instructed his minister of agriculture to start making plans on how to build a milk processing plant in Nigeria, saying that he would present a budget for the same in the coming financial year.
Nigeria largely relies on milk imports for its supplies.
Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote in 2014 said he would establish a dairy plant in Kenya aiming to boost milk supplies in Nigeria.
Sani Dangote, the brother to Aliko and vice-president of the Dangote Group, said the firm would put up a processor that would produce powdered milk, commonly known as a dry plant, to feed export markets, especially Nigeria.
The Dangote Group is currently importing more than 4,000 tonnes of powdered milk per month for the Nigerian market from Europe worth an equivalent of Sh105 million.
“Nigerians consume a lot of powder milk more than any other milk product. It is because of this that we would like to start a drying plant here to tap the ready market back at home,” said Mr Dangote in an earlier interview.
In 2014, the Nigeria chamber of commerce had announced that Brookside Dairy was planning to open shop in the West Africa nation.
Brookside has a 45 per cent share of the market in Kenya.