KENYA – During his visit to India, President William Samoei Ruto of the Republic of Kenya had a meeting with Dr. Meenesh C Shah, Chairman of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), and Shri Manish Bandlish, Managing Director of Mother Dairy.

The meeting aimed to explore collaborations and share insights on the dairy sector, particularly India’s successful journey from deficiency to self-sufficiency.

Chairman Dr. Shah briefed President Ruto on India’s transformative path to becoming the world’s largest milk producer through cooperative strategies and structured project implementations supported by the government.

Dr. Shah also discussed NDDB’s visit to Kenya and outlined the Dairy Development Plan for Kenya, drawing on India’s experiences and expertise, highlighting the unique aspects of India’s smallholder dairying system, similar to Kenya’s.

President Ruto expressed keen interest in Indian expertise and sought collaboration to enhance Kenya’s dairy sector, focusing on productivity measures such as High Genetic Merit semen doses, disease control through vaccination, and the provision of dairy machinery and packaging equipment.

The President emphasized the importance of the dairy sector in Kenya, predicting a doubling of milk production in the next five years.

Mother Dairy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NDDB, plays a significant role in India’s dairy sector, with revenues for 2022/2023 reaching approximately US$1.8 billion (Sh275,850,000,000).

President Ruto acknowledged Mother Dairy’s contribution, highlighting the importance of value-added milk processing and the government’s plan to modernize Kenya’s Cooperative Creameries plants.

Earlier this year, President Ruto had outlined the government’s strategy to increase milk production from 5.2 billion to 10 billion liters annually.

The plan involved modernizing processing plants, installing milk coolers nationwide, and promoting value addition to prevent surplus milk wastage.

The removal of taxes on animal feed imports, cost reduction of semen, and subsidizing fertilizers were also part of the comprehensive plan to support Kenyan farmers and enhance their profits.

The President’s directives included minimizing expenses for farmers and eliminating market brokers to ensure farmers receive maximum returns from their milk.

This was followed by the commissioning of the Modernized Kenya Co-operative Creameries Kiganjo Factory in Nyeri County, equipped with new product lines for processing camel milk and drinking water.

The collaborative efforts between India and Kenya aim to propel the dairy sector towards sustainable growth and improved livelihoods for farmers.