KENYA – The Kenyan government, through the Kenya Dairy Board (KDB), has unveiled the ambitious Kenya Dairy Industry Sustainability Roadmap 2023–2033 aiming to revolutionise the dairy sector and boost small-scale farmers‘ income.

According to the board, the goal of this 10-year plan is to double the milk production per cow, ultimately increasing the annual milk production from the current five billion litres to an impressive 10 billion litres.

Mithika Linturi, the Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Agriculture and Livestock Development, underscored the transformative objectives of the roadmap during its launch in Nairobi.

Linturi emphasized the need for strategic interventions, such as improved access to fodder and feeds, to enhance the daily milk productivity per cow.

“The envisioned outcome is not only to double the annual milk production but also to elevate the formally marketed milk percentage from 30% to 50%, leading to a substantial increase in the revenue of small-scale dairy farmers to Sh56,000 per month,” he noted.

Currently, Kenya boasts an estimated dairy herd population of 5.1 million and over two million smallholder dairy farmers, contributing to annual milk production of 5.2 billion litres valued at over Sh.230 billion.

Linturi highlighted the urgency to enhance productivity, given that the current yield per cow, below seven litres per day, falls below global standards. The emphasis is on doubling production per cow rather than expanding the size of the dairy herd.

“The proposal aims to transition the dairy industry to lower greenhouse gas emissions and adapt more climate-resilient dairy systems.”

In addition, he expressed optimism that the roadmap would facilitate the adoption of modern technology and climate-smart approaches, enabling Kenya to competitively produce, process, and market an additional 2.5 billion litres of quality milk annually to meet the growing demand.

Margaret Kibogy, the Managing Director of the KDB, outlined the roadmap’s key objectives, including increasing milk production to meet 105% of local demand and enhancing productivity to 20 litres per lactating cow per day.

Developed with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the roadmap envisions modern farming practices, efficient manufacturing, and cutting-edge research and development, all with implications for rural transformation.

“We are planning to reduce the retail price of packaged whole milk by at least 20%, and provide on-farm coolers to farmers producing over 50 litres of milk per day and located beyond walking distance from a collective cooling facility,” Kibogy highlighted.

The launch of the Kenya Dairy Industry Sustainability Roadmap marks a significant step towards transforming the dairy sector, ensuring not only economic prosperity for small-scale farmers but also promoting sustainable and climate-resilient practices within the industry.