Brookside Dairy, a company linked with the Kenyatta’s family has spelt good news for farmers after increasing the prices of milk by one shilling per litre.
A litre was initially selling at Sh35 but it has now increased to Sh36 per litre. This, the company says, is in a bid to help farmers deal with hard economic times as a result of COVID-19.
The new prices will take effect starting April 1.
“As the country implements far-reaching measures to contain the coronavirus and its threats onto the economy, and especially agriculture, we decided to increase farm-gate prices of milk that will not only boost the dairy farming businesses but also help minimize the negative financial impacts of the current Covid-19 which is also affecting the dairy farming community,” John Gethi, Brookside’s director of milk procurement and manufacturing remarked.
Gethi urged farmers to enhance their dairy farming now that prices have been increased.
“The new prices are also an incentive to our farmers to invest in climate-smart dairy practices, such as the establishment of fodder crops and pasture with the expected commencement of the long rain season,” he added.
The increase in milk prices comes after a litany of complaints by dairy farmers across the country who decried the low cost of milk. They would only get Sh26 for each litre of milk.
Their cry set Uhuru on the firing line forcing him to intervene by having milk prices increased by KCC, one of the leading milk processors in the country.
KCC is now buying a litre of milk at Sh33. Brookside had the best price in the market at Sh35 per litre before the latest increase.
Brookside works on a contractual basis with farmers guaranteeing them returns every end of the month.
Farmers have now been urged to join co-operatives to enable them to grow their dairy ventures and get the best from the economies of scale which co-operatives are run on.
“We would like to encourage as many dairy farmers as possible to join co-operatives to benefit from the pricing incentives currently in place. They are a huge boost to the formal milk marketing channels,” he said.
David Korir, a farmer from Elburgon Progressive Dairy Farmers co-operative society in Nakuru county said hawkers cannot guarantee regular payments for milk.
“Many times, they are unable to cope with increased production, besides being beset by concerns on food safety and milk quality,” he said.