25 April 2012

Kenya: Milk Prices to Remain High Until Mid May

PRICES of processed milk will remain high until mid May when normal supply is expected to resume.

Half a litre of milk now goes for between Sh45 and Shh50 up from Sh30 two months ago.

Processors attribute the high prices to the prolonged dry spell before the onset of the ongoing long rains. They hope normal supply of raw milk is to stabilise next month with the increase of the animal feed in the main milk producing areas within Rift valley and Central highlands.

Brookside dairy marketing manager Peter Wesonga said the dairy farmers have seen their output dip due to shortage of pasture during the dry season but they are gradually increasing the volume of milk deliveries to processors.

"There are efforts to increase storage during times of plenty for use when the supplies from farmers drop," SaidWesonga.

Brookside, one of the largest regional milk processors, is constructing a powder milk plant, which will become the second in the country in addition to New KCC facility.

Most of the processors have been buying milk powder from KCC to keep their fresh milk brands on the shop shelves, although in ordinary times they are competitors.

Speaking at the opening of the 8th African Dairy Conference and Exhibition at the K.I.C.C. President Mwai Kibaki said that while a few African countries have been able to produce surplus milk, limited intra-regional trade remains a major hindrance to dairy development.

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