Kenya mulls quality based milk payment system to boost the sector

KENYA – Kenya is set to adopt new regulations that will see dairy farmers receive payment based on the milk quality as opposed to the payment based in weight, reports Business Daily.

The quality based pricing model is set to be adopted in March that will be influenced by the amount of butterfat in a kilogramme or raw-milk which should also be free from antibiotics and added water.

Livestock Principal Secretary, Harry Kimutai said a regulatory framework in the dairy industry is also being addressed through the draft Dairy Regulations that seeks to enhance compliance of milk dealers across the dairy value chain.

The quality based milk payment systems focuses on motivating farmers to produce quality and safe raw milk, providing a direct monetary benefit to farmers that will subsequently motivate processors to produce premium products like ghee and butter.

“Processors will be paying farmers based on quality as opposed to the quantity to ensure that farmers get the most out of their venture and discourage milk adulteration,” he said.

The current pricing model that relies on the weight of milk and does not fully reward farmers for high-quality husbandry.

Speaking during a milk quality and safety seminar, Mr Kimutai also added that the regulations also seek to streamline the animal feeds industry to ensure that farmers get quality feeds, which plays an important role in the production of quality milk.

“We have a lot of low quality feeds out there and what we are trying to do is to ensure that there are laws in place to streamline manufacturing of feeds,” he said.

However, Kenya Dairy Board Managing Director Margaret Kibogy said the industry, which has 25 licensed processors handling approximately 650 million litres per year, is still characterized by milk with high residual levels for aflatoxin and antibiotics.

“There is also lack screening of raw milk, adulteration, use of non-food grade containers and a high bacterial load brought about by the inadequate cold chain in distribution and retail,” said Kibogy.

Brookside Dairy executive chairman, Muhoho Kenyatta said that it has plans underway to start paying dairy farmers based on milk quality as it seeks produce that allows it to manufacture more premium products like ghee and butter.

Kimutai also added that the Government is planning to establish an authority that will have overall responsibility for the safety of food and drugs in the country, similar to the powerful US Food and Drug Administration.

Currently very few Dairy Companies such as Bio Foods and Happy Cow have adopted the system.

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