Milk prices to rise as supply falls

New KCC Eldoret depot. In the North Rift, farmers have complained about a drop in milk production as opposed to previous months. Photo/JARED NYATAYA

Milk prices are likely to rise following reduced production in some parts of Kenya.

During the milk glut in February and March, many Kenyans had anticipated that milk production would increase in later months owing to the onset of the long rains in most parts of the country. 

But speaking to Business Daily on telephone from Mombasa, New Kenya Cooperative Creameries (New KCC) Chairman, Mr Matu Wamae, confirmed a fall in milk production had been reported in various processing plants in the country.

In the North Rift, farmers have complained about a drop in milk production as opposed to previous months, which saw milk going to waste as various processing plants in the country could not cope with the glut.

Kenya National Dairy Producers Organisation Vice National Chairman, Mr Peter Lelei, said that milk shortage was looming.

Looming crisis

“In the coming months, acute shortage of milk might be witnessed if the government fails to put in place measures to forestall the looming crisis,” said Mr Lelei, who is also the organisation’s chairperson in the North Rift.

He attributed the shortage falling milk prices and increased costs of production.

He said whenever the price of milk was increased in the past; agro-vets in the country in turn increase the price of dairy meal, salt and even acaricides.

“When the price of milk dropped, during the glut, the factors of production remained high, hence farmers ended up spending more in producing milk than what they ploughed back as profit,” said Mr Lelei.

This he admits forced farmers reduce the expenses involved in producing milk, hence the reduction of the commodity.

He says farmers who used high yield dairy meal abandoned it for low quality standard dairy meal, noting that the former is not as productive as the latter.

At various agro-vets dealing with dairy feeds in Eldoret town, the price of a 70 kilogramme high yield dairy meal was selling at Sh1,700, the standard dairy meal was going for Sh1,300 while the ordinary (economy) dairy meal was retailing at between Sh950 to Sh1,000.

Currently, milk retails at Sh19 a litre at the New KCC and some of the private milk plants in the country.

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