Kenyans’ growing appetite for meat and dairy products saw the livestock sector turnover hit Sh146 billion in 2018 from Sh135.6 billion, supported by private and county government value chains.
The fast-rising sector continued to attract formation of small-scale farmer co-operatives that increased by 105 or 20.2 percent from 518 to 623. These are co-operatives that collect milk from local farmers for onward direct sales to milk processors and raised deliveries by 18.4 percent from 535.7 million litres in 2017 to 634.3 million in 2018.
“Quantities of milk and cream processed increased by 10.6 percent from 410.6 million litres in 2017 to 454.1 million litres in 2018 while butter/ghee and cheese processing experienced a 10.8 percent and 15.5 percent growth, respectively, in 2018,” says the 2019 Economic Survey by Kenya Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).
This year could be a game changer with county governments actualising their investments in dairy processing with Murang’a’s Sh100 million new creameries having launched operations with a promise to increase farmer prices from Sh34 based on milk sales.
Embu has set aside Sh300 million for a similar plant while Nandi has sunk Sh350 million. Kakamega county has attracted a Sh7 billion deal with a Dutch investor, with Equity Bank pledging Sh2 billion towards purchase of dairy animals via soft loans to farmers.
Milk value chain
The county has since bought 600 dairy cows for the pilot project involving 60 farmers.
Increased formalisation of the milk value chain has also informed interest in related industries such as animal feeds, livestock drugs as well as fodder production with county governments subsidising service fees for artificial insemination as well as providing milk coolers to self-help groups in high milk producing areas.
The KNBS survey noted that 2.78 million cows were slaughtered, being 7.3 percent higher than 2017’s 2.59 million cows which also saw 10.2 million sheep and goats slaughtered, a 11.3 percent rise from the 9.2 million sold to abattoirs in major cities.
On rise in pork eateries especially in suburbs of major towns as well as meat processing plants, pig sales recorded a 7.8 percent rise where 388,200 pigs were slaughtered compared to 360,100 in 2017.