Dairy farmers who make their own animal feeds in their farms can reduce the production costs of one liter of milk from Sh21 to Sh14, a reduction of 33 per cent.
According to Kenya’s ministry of agriculture, the cost of milk production in Kenya is double the neighboring country of Uganda at the farm level. This was according to data obtained from a survey conducted in nine counties across the country.
The ministry is therefore encouraging farmers to produce their own animal feeds to bring down the production cost to Sh14 and sell a liter of milk at Sh35 thereby reaping a profit of Sh21 per liter.
The Kenya Dairy Board reports that expensive cost of milk production in Kenya is due to the fact that 60 per cent of the milk is produced through zero grazing which is costly while only 15 per cent of the total production is via open grazing.
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Geoffrey Rono, a hay farmer in Narok.
So far, the Samburu County government, a pastoralist region with about 184,666 heads of cattle has set aside 5,000 acres for pasture production in a bid to improve farmers’ income by training them on hay farming then purchasing their produce for storage to be used during the dry season.
The national government is also encouraging farmers to plant hay to be stored for use when pasture is scarce while the excess is exported.
The quantity of milk delivered to dairy processors recorded a significant drop of 17.4 per cent from 648.2m liters in 2016 to 535.7m liters in 2017 according to the 2018 economic survey report.
In this, the quantity of processed milk and cream from processing plants decreased by 8.5 per cent and that of butter and ghee declined by 22 per cent. Production of cheese however, increased from 311.2 tonnes in 2016 to 338.3 tonnes in 2017.