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Government sets aside Sh1 billion to address soaring milk prices


NAKURU, KENYA: The government has announced a strategic plan to help stop the soaring Milk prices across the country.

Livestock and fisheries production Principal Secretary Dr Andrew Tuimur said his department will spend Sh1 billion to buy surplus milk from farmers, purposely to increase capacity of strategic reserves of the produce in stores in order to contain future crises.

The move, he said will help in curbing prices of milk across the country in case of any possible shortfall of production.

“We have been witnessing a heavy shortage of milk supplies due to prolonged dry spells, a situation which translated to the rise of prices of the commodity to an all-time high of Sh80 per 500 milliliters parket,” Tuimur said.

Currently, the country is able to produce 5.2 billion liters of milk but the capacity declined to 3.2b within the last six months.

The official said already, the country’s milk production has started normalising and assured that besides the commitment by the ministry to increase strategic reserves of the produce, concerted efforts are being enforced across the country to increase production.

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One such intervention which has been put in place in increasing livestock production is the Smallholder Dairy Commercialisation Programme (SDCP) which is a joint development programme between the Government of Kenya and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

The program is being implemented in various counties of the country with an emphasis on commercialisation of dairy and dairy products through the Market Oriented Dairy Enterprises approach

The Programme whose coordination unit is located in Nakuru, commenced in July 2006 and it is expected to run until September 2019.

For example in Nyamira County, where the Government official was inspecting various dairy projects on Tuesday, the initiative has given small-scale dairy farmers a 6,000 milk cooler which has enabled them preserve their produce before transporting to processors.

Nyamira County Chief Officer for Agriculture Daniel Omwanza said the farmers have already formed cooperative societies which have seen them maximise on funding.

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