KENYA – Eastern Africa’s largest dairy processing company, Brookside Dairy Limited, has announced a cash bonus payout of over US$1.01  million to its contracted farmers as a reward for meeting agreed milk supply targets in both quantity and quality.

According to Brookside general manager for milk procurement Emmanuel Kabaki, the payout will benefit dairy groups and individual farmers across the country who signed up for the programme and have been supplying raw milk to the milk processor in the six months between December 1, 2022, and May 31 this year.

“The reward further cements our excellent working relationship with all our 160,000 raw milk suppliers across the country. The reward scheme has boosted the supply of high-quality milk, thus enabling us to tap into a larger share of high-value products,” Kabaki said.

Over time, Kabaki highlighted that volumes and quality of milk supplied to the processor have continually grown with this year’s intake rising by 27 per cent over volumes supplied at a similar period last year on better dairy practices by farmers

He noted that the growth in milk volumes is also attributed to an aggressive farmer empowerment programme by the processor.

“This year alone, more than 6,000 dairy farmers have benefited from Brookside’s extension services, which include field day training and the use of demonstration farms to showcase best practices in the dairy enterprise,” he said.

“The attribute of quality, for which our dairy products are known cannot be achieved without the involvement of our farmers in the production and supply of quality raw milk.”

He urged farmers to prioritise initiatives that encourage growth of milk production such as investment in year-long availability of fodder and water for dairy animals.

According to a milk hygiene guide by the Kenya Dairy Board, some unscrupulous milk suppliers adulterate milk by adding water or solids to increase the volume or to make it look thicker.

In 2021, the dairy processor, partnered with SunCulture, an off-grid solar technology firm, to provide dairy farmers in Kenya with solar-powered irrigation systems, in a bid to boost milk production.

The targeted beneficiaries of the project were farmers contracted by the processor, who used solar-powered systems to water their fodder crops using sprinkler irrigation and provide the livestock with reliable drinking water.

The project ensured the utilisation of existing water sources at the farms, with the assurance of year-round availability of the resource which is key in milk production.

Brookside had previously increased payment for every kilo of raw milk supplied to it in order to cushion dairy farmers against the economic crashes caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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