Dairy farmers in Nyandarua County are protesting reduced milk prices delivered to local cooperative societies and processors.
The processors have reduced the prices by between Sh7 and Sh5 against prices offered in December milk deliveries. Reduced milk prices are a double tragedy as prices of animal feeds have gone up, raising costs of production. At Ol Kalou Dairy Farmers Cooperative Society, milk prices have reduced from Sh35 to Sh30, but the farmers were paid Sh27 per litre of milk, after deductions to meet society management costs.
“We are discouraged by the random unexplained deductions. They were implemented at the wrong time, a time when the cost of production is higher, yet, they have not slashed the costs of animal feeds supplied to members,” said Mr Wallace Kamau, Ol Kalou Dairy Society member.
The price deduction has influenced prices offered by brokers who have started offering Sh5 less from the previous Sh30 cost per litre.
“By offering Sh25 per litre it means farmers will eventually pocket Sh20 per litre of milk delivered to them. They normally deduct Sh5 per litre meant for transport. Most farmers opt for brokers for timely weekly payments,” said Ms Veronica Wangari from Tumaini market.
County Agriculture Executive James Karitu said the government was concerned by the price reduction, adding that its timing was wrong.
“We are trying to engage the processors, but a lasting solution is in value addition,” he said.