KENYA – The New Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC), state-owned Dairy processor has announced plans to open a goat and camel milk production line at its Nanyuki processing plant, Central Kenya following high demand of the commodities in the country.

Goat and camel milk are highly sought by Kenyans who are keen on diet due to high nutritional value.

Currently, a litre of goat milk retails at an average of Sh200 buoyed by scarcity as most farmers are not rearing dairy goats. The same quantity of cow milk is selling at less than Sh100.

This will be the first time in Kenya that a major processor will be venturing into goat and camel milk production in large scale.

The move appears to be in line with its expansion drive which saw President Uhuru Kenyatta recently directing the Treasury to release US$5.69m for the modernization of the Cooperative’s factories in Nyeri and Nyahururu.

In addition to that the treasury will dish out a further US$4.94m for the dairy processor to mop up excess milk from farmers and convert it to powder milk which will be stored in strategic reserves for future us and stabilize milk prices in the country.

Milk volumes in the country have increased significantly to hit a month intake of approximately 65 million litres from 55 million in an ordinary situation.

Recently, Kenya inked a Ksh.112m (US$1.10m) dairy farmers training agreement to raise productivity and help improve the country’s food security.

 “We have signed an investment worth Ksh112.3 million (US$1.10m) with the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation (Kalro) to educate dairy farmers in Kenya in forage, breeding and food processing,” Ms Heather Humphreys, Ireland minister for business enterprise and innovation.

“Ireland has achieved food security through similar solutions and we hope to reciprocate that in Kenya. Our country’s food production can sustain more than 35 million people despite our population of under five million,” Mrs Humphrey added.

Ireland exports about Ksh450 billion (US$4.45b) worth of dairy products every year to more than 100 countries, representing over 90 percent of its total production.

Mrs Humphrey stated that Kenya needs to abandon the old system of agricultural production and instead leverage on technology to enable it grow its food capacity.

Kenyan farmers are affected by a lack of an established export system for their milk, leaving them at the mercy of local processors who often cut prices whenever there is a glut in the market.