The ministry of agriculture will provide milk coolers to farmer cooperative societies all over the country in a bid to cushion farmers against losses as the latest statistics from the Kenya Dairy Board indicate that milk production has increased by 26 per cent over the past three months.
The ministry has already distributed 70 coolers to different societies with target to distribute 280 more to reach its target of 350 coolers under a grant from the Polish government.
According to the ministry, the coolers have the capacity to hold milk for 30 days without going bad and hence will save farmers from wastage.
The Kenya Dairy Board reports that the volume of milk produced has gone up from 47.9m kilograms recorded in January this year to 60.2m kilograms in March with the amount expected to increase further due to increase in pasture attributed to the ongoing rains.
Of the milk produced, milk processors have the capacity to process only 3.9m liters daily with the rest of the produce going to the informal market.
A farmer pouring milk to a cooler in the past. Photo: courtesy
Last year, the quantity of milk delivered to processors such as Brookside dropped by 17.4 per cent to 535.7m liters from 648.2m liters in 2016 due to prolonged drought.
Similarly, 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.
The new Kenya Cooperative Creameries plans to double its processing capacity from 750,000 liters a day to 1.5m liters driven by expansion of its current 22 factories and 30 satellite coolers all over the country.