Dairy farmers in Nyeri are set increase their income after Mukurweini Dairy Ltd announced the increase in price of one liter of milk from Sh27 to Sh35.
“Our biggest success is the value addition, this is because have been able to turn around and improved the rate of payment to our farmers from Sh27 per liter before processing to Sh35 per liter currently,” said Peter Kamau, the Chief Executive Officer of the company.
The company was started in 1990 as a self-help group with the main objective of collecting members’ milk and marketing it to the milk processors. It was registered in 2005 as a limited company after growing in status and now processes raw milk into different dairy products and brands such as the Royal Fresh packed milk, Royal Fresh yoghurt, Royal Fresh Lala, Royal Fresh long life milk.
The Royal milk is packed in 500ml, 200ml, five liters and processed bulk.
The company is currently valued at Sh269.7m as of at 30th June 2018 with 212 permanent employees and 100 casual workers.
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Workers at Mukurweini Wakumima Dairy Ltd. Courtesy
To improve farmers’ income, the company provides artificial insemination and clinical services to farmers where shareholders are given the option to pay for the services in cash or on credit against their milk production.
It also provides dairy, poultry and pig feeds for sale through its outlets spread over its milk catchment areas in Nyeri. These feeds are equally sold on cash or credit against members’ milk productions.
Wakulima Sacco Limited is used as conduit for paying farmers produce, provision of basic banking services on savings and lending. The critical role of the institution is to provide credit on dairy farming activities such as the purchase of grade dairy cattle, construction of cattle sheds, purchase of chaff-cutter machines, purchase of high value semen and other related business
The company maintains a laboratory which is used to analyse the milk quality and also for clinical disease analysis.
“Our lowest moment was in 2011 when the Dairy opted to spill the milk and ration collection from the farmers due to lack of market. As a result the company made a huge loss for both money and the big number of farmers sold their cows,” said Kamau.
“In order to avoid the recurrence of the same, we started the process of acquiring the processing machines in order to do the value addition and look for the market rather than relying on the other processors,”
The company has a plan of processing ghee, butter and cheese by the end of the year 2019 and is thus projecting a 20 per cent growth in sales this year boosted by introduction of ultra-heated milk in the market.
The quantity of milk delivered to dairy processors recorded a significant drop of 17.4 per cent from 648.2m litres in 2016 to 535.7m litres in 2017 according to the 2018 Economic Survey Report.
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.