KENYA – The Kenyan government, in response to the reduced milk prices adversely affecting dairy farmers has allocated Sh1 billion to the New Kenya Cooperative Creameries (New KCC) to stabilize the dairy market.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi expressed concern over the recent drop in milk prices, which had fallen to less than Sh35 per litre, prompting the intervention.

Linturi, speaking at the NCPB depot in Eldoret, highlighted that the government had received complaints from dairy farmers about the potential negative impact of reduced milk prices.

The government’s commitment to supporting farmers was underscored by the allocation, with Linturi announcing that the minimum milk price would now be set at Sh45 per litre.

“We have in the recent days received concerns from the dairy farmers about the drop in prices which might affect them negatively,” CS Linturi said.

He emphasized the government’s dedication to assisting farmers across various sectors, pointing out that similar measures had been implemented to stabilize maize prices at NCPB.

Linturi further assured that the government would continually address concerns from farmers across the country, demonstrating a commitment to supporting agricultural sectors.

Uasin Gishu Governor Jonathan Bii and Soy MP David Kiplagat lauded the government’s intervention, expressing optimism about the positive impact on dairy farmers in the region.

The government’s move to allocate funds to New KCC aligns with broader plans announced on November 12 to establish a milk price-stabilizing fund totaling close to Sh3 billion.

Simon Chelugui, the Cabinet Secretary for Cooperatives and Micro and Small Enterprises, disclosed that the fund, to be implemented by New Kenya Cooperative Creameries, aims to mop up excess milk from farmers and convert it into long-life products stored in the Strategic Food Reserve.

“The government will mop up the milk, convert it into powder milk, package it and store it in the Strategic Food Reserve,” Chelugui explained.

He further indicated that, starting from January, private processors would be free to purchase the dried milk at a price regulated by the government, ensuring a stable and prosperous dairy subsector.

In light of these interventions, the government signals its commitment to safeguarding the interests of dairy farmers and fostering stability in the dairy industry, ultimately contributing to the overall growth and resilience of the agricultural sector.