KENYA – Meru’s dairy industry is set for a boost after a local milk processor announced plans to establish cooling stations across the county.
The Meru Central Dairy Union, which deals in milk and fresh dairy products, plans to set up coolants in Imenti, Tigania, Buuri and Igembe.
Chief executive Kenneth Gitonga said a steady rise in milk production and consumption has put pressure on the firm to expand its infrastructure at its main plant in Meru town.
“Due to the prevailing dynamics of demand and supply, the union has embarked on an ambitious programme to have coolers in these areas, creating a ready market for farmers,” said Mr Gitonga at the Meru ASK showground.
The number of farmers delivering milk at the union’s factory in Meru town is more than 30,000 including individuals and more than 25 co-operative societies in Meru and Tharaka Nithi counties.
Last year, the union paid Sh468 million to the dairy farmers for delivery of 12 million kilogrammes of milk. The union pays farmers Sh39 per litre delivered as well as an annual bonus at the end of every year.
Mr Gitonga said their plant has a capacity to process 85,000 litres of milk a day.
He said one of the major challenges in milk production was disease.
“Mastitis has really affected the output of milk. However, our veterinary department is working to prevent the spread of the disease,” he said.