Brookside unveils scheme to reward raw milk suppliers
Dairy processor, Brookside, yesterday unveiled a raw milk supply reward scheme, which seeks to motivate farmers to increase milk production.
Over 300 farmers in the processor’s pilot reward scheme were yesterday paid over Sh100 million as bonuses for consistently supplying agreed raw volumes over the past nine months.
Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri presided over the awards at Brookside’s Ruiru plant, flanked by the processor’s Executive Chairman Muhoho Kenyatta.
Mr Kiunjuri said the Government is committed to positioning the dairy sector as a key driver to the country’s economy and called for a reduction of production costs along the value chain.
“The Government will support all initiatives that seek to motivate farmers to grow volumes of milk. However, there is a need to address challenges that prevent us from optimising the value of the dairy enterprise, such over-reliance on rain-fed agriculture,” he said.
The CS said the Government had tightened its industry regulatory mechanisms, through the Kenya Dairy Board, to ensure that only safe milk is available for consumers.
“There is a huge and untapped potential for the country’s dairy sub-sector. The gains of the dairy industry can be further consolidated through stringent application of milk quality standards,” the minister said.
He commended Brookside Dairy for undertaking farmer training sessions on milk quality which, he said, had seen more farmers adopt clean milk production along the dairy value chain.
“Today, most farmers in Kenya are producing a maximum of seven to nine litres of milk per cow per day. With partnership from private sector players such as Brookside, we intend to move this production rate to 15 litres,” Kiunjuri said.
Mr Kenyatta said Brookside will continue to work with both individual farmers and dairy groups to transform farming into a full-fledged commercial enterprise.
“We are desirous of transforming dairy farming into a profitable agricultural enterprise for all farmers, especially smallholders who form the bulk of those supplying us with raw milk,” he said.
Seasonality of milk production, as a consequence of over-reliance on rain-fed agriculture, remains an impediment to the full realisation of gains for the dairy sector in the East Africa region, he added.
Brookside Milk Procurement Director John Gethi urged farmers across the country to sign up for the processor’s reward scheme to increase income from their raw milk supplies.