North Rift dairy farmers pay less for animal feeds

A worker offloads bags of dairy meal in Eldoret. photo | jared nyataya
A worker offloads bags of dairy meal in Eldoret. photo | jared nyataya  

Dairy farmers are paying less for animal feeds as maize and wheat prices fall on oversupply leaving cereal growers with heavy losses.

North Rift dairy farmers on Wednesday said they were accessing cheap fodder after maize prices declined to Sh1,400 per 90 kilogramme bag.

This followed the suspension of the cereal buying programme by the National cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) and restriction of importation of cheap grains from Uganda.

“We can now mill our own animal feeds from the low cost maize and wheat produce that has cut down milk production costs,” said Joshua Melly from Cheboite, Nandi County.

Wheat prices have dropped from Sh3,600 to Sh2,800 per bag as farmers rush to sell the produce in preparation for this season’s planting.

“Availability of cheap maize and wheat coupled with plenty of hay as a result of the ongoing rains is pushing down the cost of milk production,” said Julius Lagat from Saos Nandi County.

A bale of hay is going at Sh180 down from Sh240 two months ago. Some of the traders dealing in animal products have reduced the cost of fodder with a 50 kilogramme bag of diary meal selling at Sh1,500 down from Sh2,200 a few months.

Livestock farmers in the region have an estimated 1.2 million dairy cows and between 400,000 and 500,000 heifers.

Most milk processors are paying farmers Sh37 per litre.