New KCC turns to milk powder as supplies dip

 New KCC factory in Kiganjo
A worker inspects milk at the New KCC factory in Kiganjo, Nyeri. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Milk supplies to processors have dropped by 40 percent due to the biting drought, hitting producers hard.

Because of the shortage in the last two months, New KCC managing director Nixon Sigey said the company would process 1,500 metric tonnes of milk powder stocks into milk to cushion consumers from skyrocketing prices.

“We have enough stocks of milk powder to last the country till the end of May when we expect to have enough milk supplies,” he said.

The MD noted that modernisation programme of its factories in Eldoret, Kitale and Kiganjo, supported by national government, had enabled the milk firm to convert excess milk into powder.

“The country recorded the good rains during months of October till December that enabled us to convert excess raw milk to milk powder. This will help in stabilising prices in the market. We have to pick lessons to ensure feed preparation and conservation during the rainy seasons to ensure that milk production remains constant throughout the year and prepare in case the country witnesses such biting drought,” said Mr Sigey.


Modernisation programme

The shelf prices of a 500ml packet is Sh50 in most retail chains compared with a high of Sh60 in last two years.

The State-owned New KCC began its modernisation programme in 2016 at a cost of Sh1 billion, targeting factories in Eldoret, Nyahururu, Sotik and Dandora. This increased the firm’s annual turnover from Sh4 billion to more than Sh10 billion and creation of 400 new jobs, raising its total number of workers to 2000.

Mr Sigey, who is also the Kenya Dairy Processors chairperson, said there is a need to allocate Sh2 billion in the next three years to allow the country stablise dairy industry.

The Milk Act allowed the inclusion of the dairy product in the Strategic Food Reserve to cushion country from milk fluctuations.

The processor has asked the parliamentary committee on Trade to allocate Sh1.05 billion to complete its modernisation.