Kenyatta University (KU) is preparing to launch a commercial dairy farm in a diversification move that will pit the institution against industry heavyweights Brookside Dairies and New Kenya Co-operative Creameries.
The university on Wednesday, through a notice in the Press, began the search for personnel to fill six key positions at the upcoming farm, indicating that the project is well under way.
“KU is in the process of introducing a Commercial Dairytech Farm and seeks to recruit competent and dedicated applicants to fill the following positions,” the institution said in an advert.
The public university is looking for two assistant farm managers (animal feeds and crops), two technical assistants (inseminator and feeds), a milker and a tractor driver.KU officials declined to comment on the project when contacted by Business Daily.
Kenya’s dairy industry is currently the focus of multi-billio-shilling investments and mergers following an anticipated leap in demand for the commodity, driven by rapid urbanisation, population and incomes growth.
The amount of milk delivered to processing firms rose to a three-year high of 541.3 million litres in 2014, having peaked at 549 million litres in 2011.
The dairy farm is the latest commercial project by KU that has been diversifying its income streams to reduce reliance on government support and fees from parallel degree programmes and short professional courses.
The institution owns Thika Road Funeral Home and North Coast Beach Hotel in Mombasa.
It recently commissioned its multi-billion-shilling Uni-City which will host retail stores, fuelling station, food courts, an office block, a car park and banks among other facilities.
The university also runs a 100-roomed conference centre at its main campus, a bookstore, a television station and is also in the process of constructing a Sh300 million children’s hospital.
The dairy industry presents KU with the option of diversifying into one of the most lucrative fast moving consumer goods market that remains dominated by informal traders.