Kenyans will have to part with more money to buy milk after the price rose to Sh60 for a 500ml packet.
Industry regulator, Kenya Dairy Board, blames the rise in price on dwindling supply to milk processors which is down by half.
Brookside whole milk is going for Sh63 per 500ml packet, Ilara fresh is attracting Sh60, same as KCC fresh whole, in almost all the retail shops in Nairobi.
The price of sour milk has also gone up with 500ml KCC Mala retailing at Sh75, from Sh65 last month.
Processors have blamed the increase on limited supply in the market that has seen them adjust prices for farmers upwards due to the scarcity.
SHORTAGE OF MILK
KDB managing director Margaret Kibogy said: Processors are currently operating below their installed capacity as the shortage of milk from farms, which has resulted from drought, increases the demand of the commodity, hence pushing up the price.”
Ms Kibogy noted that they expect the situation to normalise next month with the onset of rains that are expected to generate more fodder in the fields.
“Most of our farmers are practising free range system and they depend on rains for fodder. With the anticipated downpour, there will be an increase in grass cover and this will see an increase in production,” she said.
New KCC managing director Nixon Sigey said they adjusted the price of milk by Sh3 to make it in tandem with the Sh3 that they added on producers’ price.
Mr Sigey said that they expect the current price to remain since normalcy is expected to return within a month.
“What we are paying farmers at the moment is the highest price that we have ever offered to producers and we had to match that amount by adjusting the consumer price as well,” he said.
Processors are currently reconstituting powder milk estimated at Sh2 billion into fresh milk in order to maintain supply in the market.
New KCC and Brookside had in excess of more 1.2 million kilogrammes of the product, which has been significant in supplementing the limited stocks that they are getting from farmers.
New KCC recently raised the price of raw milk from Sh40 to Sh43 per litre.