Dairy processor attendat inspecting milk deliverde by farmers at a collection centre. Milk production and supply is expected to increase due to the onset of heavy rains which will increase forage and pasture grasses for livestock.
Dairy processor, Brookside has promised to continue procurement of all contracted milk volumes from over 160,000 farmers countrywide. This offers relief to the farmers as there is expected milk glut due to the current heavy rains which is anticipated to increase forage and pasture grasses for livestock.
Last week Kenya Meteorological Department warned of heavy rains that is already witnessed in various parts of the country. This is good news for livestock keepers who are set to enjoy enough pasture after a long period of dry season in the past months. However, this may translate to over production and supply of milk by dairy farmers.
According to the Kenya Dairy Board March 2016 report there was an over production and supply of milk that lasted for two months between the months of March and April due to the heavy rains. This saw processors hold more than 5,000 metric tonnes of powdered milk.
The report which was released in Marh last year further indicates that un-estimated volumes of milk delivered by farmers was poured at Olkalou Dairy cooling plant due to oversupply.
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Brookside announcement therefore comes as a relief to dairy farmers across the country who see the current heavy rains as an indication of over production of milk that may flood the market in the next coming weeks thus they may miss to sell or sell at a lower price. Currently a litre of milk fetches Sh35 to Sh45.
“We are going to buy all volumes of milk from our farmers as per the contracts to save them from any wastage, this is part of the firm’s promise to provide stable market for its raw milk suppliers,” said Brookside Dairy Milk Procurement Director John Gethi.
The Ruiru-based processor has an installed processing capacity of 1.5m litres of milk per day, serviced by about 55 raw milk cooling stations across the country.
“This has no effect on our plan in procuring milk from our farmers as we promised, the company would continue to buy milk fully of all contracted volumes this season,” said Gethi.
“Brookside is at the moment doing major upgrades at both our milk cooling facilities and at the Ruiru processing house to allow us handle more milk as we expect from farmers this rainy season.”
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Last year dairy farmers from Nandi County earned Sh33m from raw milk sales to the processor, indicating improved fortunes for the enterprise in the region. This was a reflection in income growth of Sh5m over payouts made by the company to farmers in 2016.
“We will also continue to provide training to dairy farmers throughout the country as this has greatly reflected in the improved production of quality milk from the farmers,” said Gethi.
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The processor had also upgraded the operational capacity of its Eldoret station which is its milk bulking station serving Nandi and Uasin Gishu counties enabling it handle over 100,000 litres of raw milk per day.
Brookside controls 45 per cent of the country’s raw milk market share.