Dairy farmers to benefit from cooling machines

Business Daily Kenya:  The national government will distribute milk coolers to parts of Rift Valley this month in a long-term plan that see...

Business Daily Kenya: 

Milk production. Photo/File

The national government will distribute milk coolers to parts of Rift Valley this month in a long-term plan that seeks to address glut and quality of the perishable commodity.

Livestock Principal Secretary, Andrew Tuimur said 16 coolers have arrived in the country and ready for distribution to Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu and Nandi counties among others with more on the way.

Another batch of the coolers he said is on the high seas, and would be arriving in the country any time for distribution. “We have realised that some of the milk sold to various dispensers across the country have quality issues.

Therefore, the move to distribute coolers to these target areas is strategic in addressing milk quality. We want to ensure that milk is chilled after production, before it is sold to consumers,” Tuimur said.

He said plans are at an advanced stage to buy more coolers with a total of 350 of these machines from Poland already been cleared. Absence of adequate machinery in the dairy sector, he said leads to increase of milk hawking paving way for adulteration hence making it unsuitable for consumption. The coolers are part of a Sh10 billion grant from the Dutch government to mechanise the dairy sector according to the PS.

Kenya Dairy Board (KDB) says the country loses a lot of milk, especially at the farm level as farmers lack modern cooling systems. According to Managing Director, Margaret Kibogy, half of the 5.2 billion litres of milk produced in the country annually is consumed at the farm level while the rest goes to the informal and formal markets.

“Of the 2.6 billion litres that goes to the market, 80 per cent of it is sold in informal settlements, in estates and other marginalised areas. Slightly above 500 million litres goes through local processing,” she told People Daily recently.

Tuimur said the government is committed to reducing milk hawking, which he said poses health risk to consumers. However, with introduction of the cooling machines, which have to be fitted with pasteurisers, the PS said milk will be safer for consumption across the value chain.

“Providing coolers is not enough but ensuring that hawked milk is treated to make it safer is more important. We have also come up with sector regulations which we hope will enable us address shortcomings in the dairy industry,” Tuimur added.

The post Dairy farmers to benefit from cooling machines appeared first on Mediamax Network Limited.

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