January milk intake by processors up 19 percent

The quantity of wasted milk in 2023 rose to a four-year high of 290 million litres.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The volume of milk delivered to processors grew by 19.1 percent in January compared to a similar period last year due to improved weather that boosted production.

Fresh data from the Kenya Dairy Board (KDB) shows formal processors accepted 74.57 million litres in January compared to 62.59 million litres in similar month last year.

It is, however, a slight decline against the 75.68 million litres in December, which was the highest since May 2021.

The average milk purchase has been elevated over the past six months due to increased output from farmers.

The sufficient rains recorded during the period starting in October boosted production and parts of the country continue to receive rainfall this month.

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, a 500ml packet of fresh cow milk was retailing at Sh57.31 last month, a decline from an average Sh57.61 in February last year.

A spot check at Naivas Supermarket shows a 500ml packet of fresh milk is retailing at between Sh54 and Sh68. At Carrefour, it is retailing at between Sh47 and Sh64.

Milk intake by formal processors remained high throughout last year, hitting a record high of 810.76 million litres.

It is, however, estimated that about 80 percent of Kenya’s milk is marketed informally.

Kenya has an estimated 1.8 million smallholder farmers, who make about 80 percent of the producers.

KDB estimates that total production in the country – including formally and informally marketed milk – is about 5.2 billion litres annually.

In its 2024-2027 strategic plan, the State agency targets to grow this production to 11 billion litres within the next three years and increase exports to one billion litres.

“To double production, interventions to enhance feeding, breeding, disease control, and farmer extension services will be implemented to increase productivity per cow from 5 to 10 litres per day,” it said.

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