Farmer milking his cow. Photo courtecy.
Dairy farmers who sell their milk to Brookside Dairies, one of the largest milk processors in the country are set to benefit Sh11 increase per litre of the product delivered to the processor the price being increased from Sh26 to Sh37 in a bid to match market rivals.
In March last year the company was offering Sh42 per litre at a time when New Kenya Co-operative Creameries (New KCC) which is the number one rival offered Sh43 per litre from Sh35. However, in January this year the New KCC which is the state-owned firm was buying the same amount of milk at Sh37 while Brookside stuck at Sh26 per litre.
“We have now leveled our prices with other processors in the country to enable our farmers earn more to allow them adopt modern fodder production and silage methods to ensure adequate feed during the dry season,” said John Gethi, the company’s milk procurement director.
“We are urging all farmers to engage in sustainable dairy farming by reserving portions of their farms for cultivation of animal feeds,” said Gethi.
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This comes at a time when the country is receiving much rainfall translating to more pasture and fodder for livestock especially for dairy cows which is has upped milk production across the country.
Brookside which has a daily processing capacity of 1.5m litres now targets to attract farmers with this initiative that the farmers may sign delivery contracts, enabling processor to meet local and foreign demand for its dairy products.
Other than the New KCC, Brookside also faces competition from Murang’a Creameries which is owned by Murang’a County. The county creameries is finalizing on its new imported milk plant that will process fresh milk and flavoured yoghurt to sell to the locals and across East Africa.
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The county has been paying Sh35 a litre whereby farmers deliver to 35 county government-funded coolers strewn across all wards.
The New KCC on the other hand has 22 factories and 30 coolers. The firm is investing in new plants across the country that will redouble the processing capacity from current 750,000 litres a day.
Currently Brookside is sourcing milk from farmers delivering their milk to 300 dairy co-operatives drawn from more than 27 milk producing counties.
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