KENYA – In January, the volume of milk delivered to processors in Kenya experienced a 19.1% surge compared to the same period last year, attributed to improved weather conditions that boosted production.

According to data from the Kenya Dairy Board (KDB), formal processors accepted 74.57 million liters in January, marking a notable increase from 62.59 million liters in the corresponding month of the previous year.

“This upswing in milk intake is a continuation of a trend observed over the past six months, driven by increased output from farmers,” the data revealed.

Favorable weather conditions, particularly sufficient rains starting in October, have positively impacted production levels, with some parts of the country still receiving rainfall in the current month.”

Although there was a slight decline in January compared to December, which saw the highest intake since May 2021 at 75.68 million liters, the overall trend remains positive.

The rise in milk production has contributed to stable prices, with a 500ml packet of fresh cow milk retailing at an average of Sh57.31 in February, slightly lower than the Sh57.61 recorded in the same month last year.

In addition, KDB highlighted that the informal milk market remains significant, constituting approximately 80% of Kenya’s total milk marketing.

“The country is home to an estimated 1.8 million smallholder farmers, who contribute around 80% of the total milk production.”

KDB estimated the annual milk production in Kenya, combining formal and informal markets, at about 5.2 billion liters.

As part of its 2024-2027 strategic plan, the Kenya Dairy Board revealed plans to double production to 11 billion liters within the next three years and increase exports to one billion liters.

The plan included interventions to enhance feeding, breeding, disease control, and farmer extension services to boost productivity per cow from 5 to 10 liters per day.

This positive momentum in milk production aligns with the broader trend observed in 2022, where milk consumption increased by 5.1% in the 11 months leading up to November.

The improved yields due to higher rainfall during the year contributed to stabilizing prices, making the dairy sector a vital component of Kenya’s agricultural landscape.

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