KENYA – Nuug Camel Milk Products Limited, a milk processing firm in Kenya, has launched commercial production and distribution of packaged camel milk products into the Kenyan market.

The company based in Industrial Area, Nairobi is producing the products in several flavours including Vanilla, Strawberry and Mango.

The Managing Director of Nuug Camel Milk Products Limited, Mr Bashir Warsame, said the company’s milk plant has started production adding that he envisions to compete with other dairy products in the country marked.

“Its milk and meat products will compete with others like Brookside, Kenya Co-operative Creameries and other leading companies.”

“The camel products are a space to watch as they will scale up the ladder of exports just like meat, coffee, pyrethrum and other agricultural products to become a foreign exchange earner,” he said.

He said plans are under way to package camel meat products, saying they have higher nutritional value than red and white meat since — as a desert animal it feeds on herbs.

Speaking at the launch of the products during recently held World Camel Day, Kenya Camels Association (KCA) national co-ordinator,  Khalif A Abey, noted that the sector has so far recorded significant investments which has boosted production.

Mr Abey disclosed that yearly turnover of camel milk sales under KCA has surpassed US$10million (Sh10bn) sourced from about 3.3 million camels being grazed in various parts of the country.

“Milk alone earned Sh10 billion from the sale of 340-500 million litres, which is produced formally and informaly,” he said.

However, according to a Business Daily report, only 15 percent of this milk reaches the market due to the hygiene issue alone.

Mr Abeyy said KCA established first milk factory in Nanyuki in 2008 after the government began to recognise the camel as a food animal as initially it had been classified as wildlife.

The factory was targeting the pastoral community in Isiolo, Marsabit, Samburu and Laikipia counties and later moved to Garissa where it has established another factory handling over 2,000 to 3,000 litres a day.

“In Garissa, the camel milk supports the livelihood of a vast majority with women handling the commodity.

“Camel milk products are now being packaged like other dairy products in the market now,” he said.

He reavealed that presently 99.9 per cent of the camel milk is marketed in the Nothern regions including Garissa, Mandera and Wajir, but Nuug Camel Milk Products Limited has started packaging both fresh and fermented products.

Mr Abey affirmed that the KCA will continue to ensure proper standards in the handling and processing of camel milk and meat in order to ensure competitiveness.

He said the KCA is working hand in hand with the University of Nairobi and Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) to develop a policy paper which will be passed on to Parliament to be enacted as law to regulate rearing, product processing and marketing.

Dr Kenneth Wameyo says that researchers have also embarked on establishing camel milk’s curative value in diseases like cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, anthritis and respiratory complications.