New Kenya Co-operative Creameries (KCC) has received half a billion shillings from the strategic food reserve to purchase 105 million litres surplus milk from dairy farmers in the country who have been experiencing increased production occasioned by good rains in recent months.
The funds will help the co-operative mop up milk surplus in the market in efforts to steady prices in coming months and cushion the producers from losses resulting from spoilage due to significant over production that has been witnessed in the country since the onset of the rains in August this year.
This emerged as New KCC in collaboration with Finnish firm Valio Dairy unveiled the Gold Crown Lactose free milk, which is the first of its kind in East Africa with parastatal banking on product diversification to increase its market share.
The milk will give lactose intolerant consumers an option to enjoy milk and dairy products.
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Speaking during the launch in Nairobi Wednesday, the Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, Peter Munya, said that the new product will address the consumer preferences in dairy products.
“I would like to confirm to the consumers that our milk is safe and they should ignore the notion that is being spread that the quality of the milk is compromised as the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) confirmed to me that largely products produced within the country are safe,” said Munya.
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The lactose-free milk which is the Bio Food Products, a premium dairy processor targeting the high-end market, is the other local firm that produces lactose-free milk.
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The launch was as a result of the response to the recent prevalence of lactose intolerance cases in the country and the lager East Africa region.
“This new product will provide lactose intolerant Kenyans with an opportunity to enjoy their milk again. The milk is a delicious option that not only retains the great taste of regular milk but also help eliminate abdominal discomfort,” said Nixon Sigey, New KCC Managing Director.
Sigey said that the launch of such an innovative product confirms their commitment to continue to invest in product research and development widening the range of lactose free products.
“For those with lactose intolerance, consuming regular milk can cause digestive issues, such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea and belching, hence the lactose free milk comes with natural taste, colour and aroma.”
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The MD further said that the milk is available in a 250 ml, 500 ml and one litre packs, and will be sold in all outlets and retail at Sh150 per litre.
“The milk is suitable for drinking, cooking, baking, use with cereals and essentially all the usage of milk and is fit from the weaning age and above,” said the MD.
Livestock Principal Secretary Harry Kimtai said that talks between treasury and the ministry are still ongoing to release an additional two billion shillings to buy more milk from farmers.