Dairy

Kenya is one of the largest producers of milk in Africa and dairy farming is one of the fastest growing sub-sectors in agriculture at an estimated rate of 3 to 4 % annually. Currently, milk based enterprises are attractive in Kenya and support over 1.8 million smallholder households and many more throughout the entire value chain. The common breeds in Kenya are; Freisian, Jersey, Aryshire and Guernsey. Currently, milk produced does not satisfy the demand hence the need to increase production.

Smallholder dairy production contributes 80% of marketed milk and milk products and contributes to poverty reduction through enhanced household incomes, nutrition and employment. Generally, informal milk outlets absorb about 86% of milk from smallholder farmers, while the formal market handles 14% of the milk. Cooperatives remain the main channel for collecting milk destined to the formal market. Brokers, traders/hawkers, transporters, co-operatives and farmer groups are the most important participants at the rural markets.

Milk production in Kenya is concentrated in highland eco-zones with high and bimodal rainfall of central and Rift valley provinces. Dairy farming in the highland eco-zones is favoured by low temperatures (15–240C) moderated by high altitude, lower risk of diseases and a bimodal rainfall pattern that support high biomass production for forage-based dairying.

In dairy production the farmer needs to be knowledgeable on breeds and breeding; production systems; feed, feeding and supplementation; fodder establishment and management; routine management; clean milk production and pests and disease management. The farmer also needs information on gross margins at various levels of investment and the anticipated benefits.

Individual traders, self-help groups, co-operatives and processors for purposes of selling to consumers or processing carry out milk aggregation. Processing includes; grading, cooling, pasteurization, packaging and transportation. In order to increase its value and shelve life, milk is processed into value added products such as butter, cheese, yoghurt, Mala, ice cream, powder milk, long life.

Existing markets for milk and milk products include regional markets (EAC, COMESA), EU-African-Caribbean-Pacific/Lome Convention and the African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA). Currently, Kenyan dairy products are exported to Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Saudi Arabia among other countries but the potential is still high.

The sector is guided by the dairy development policy, which provides direction on its growth and development. The policy acknowledges the role of informal milk markets and helps to legitimize small-scale milk traders, subject to them being trained and certified in milk hygiene. An elaborate legal and regulatory framework supports the dairy industry in Kenya. The main regulatory body in the dairy industry is the Kenya Dairy Board (KDB) and has the responsibility of developing, promoting and regulating the dairy industry. The Kenya Bureau of Standards on the other hand is the statutory body charged with enforcement of standards and certification of quality standards of all products and services in the country.

Dairy full pdf...

INPUT

Input in the dairy enterprise include: dairy herd (animals), dairy structures, feeds, fodders & supplements, machinery & equipment, acaricides and drugs. The productivity of a herd depends on the quality of the cows and the replacement heifers. The herd is selected for high milk production and good fertility. Desired Dairy herd composition is;

Milking cows                                      45%

Dry cows                                            9%

Pregnant heifers                                  8%

Heifers (weaning to first service)           14%

Heifers (birth to weaning)                     24%

The housing depends on the farming system where animals under the intensive are confined in a zero grazing unit all the time, semi intensive are partly confined and partly grazed; while in extensive they are left free range. There are several categories of feeds for dairy cattle namely; fodder, commercial feeds, homemade rations and salts/vitamin supplements. 

For hygienic production and handling of milk the farmer is advised to use approved machinery and equipment. This includes; milk cans, milk testers, cooling tanks and even processing plants. This will also help extend the storage life of milk and enable value addition. Other equipment include chaff cutter, pulverizer, weighing band, dehorning gadgets and Branding bar used for routine management of the dairy herd.

The common dairy animal diseases in Kenya are Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Anthrax, Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP), Rabies, Lumpy Skin disease, Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP), East Coast Fever, Rift Valley Fever and Trypanosomiasis.  To prevent and cure the diseases, the farmer is advised to use available and effective acaricides and drugs as recommended by the veterinary practitioner in the locality.

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DAIRY PRODUCTION

Milk production in Kenya is concentrated in highland eco-zones with high and bimodal rainfall of central and Rift valley provinces. Dairy farming in the highland eco-zones is favoured by low temperatures (15–240C) moderated by high altitude, lower risk of diseases and a bimodal rainfall pattern that support high biomass production for forage-based dairying.

In dairy production the farmer needs to be knowledgeable on breeds and breeding; production systems; feed, feeding and supplementation; fodder establishment and management; routine management; clean milk production; and pests and disease management.

To start a dairy enterprise one needs to do cost-benefit analysis so as to make informed decision on level of investment and the anticipated benefits.  Owing to the high cost of inputs and desire to maximize profits, it is becoming increasingly necessary for dairy producers to view dairy farming as a business with a view to minimizing the cost of production while increasing yields through use of appropriate management techniques. These include: feeding according to animal maintenance and production requirements, use of quality breeds, good health and ensuring cow comfort as well as rearing heifer to calf at 24months.

It is important that a farmer maintain proper records on the enterprise. The records involved will include; history of the animals, milk production, butter fat content and other historical issues of the animal. Income generated by one animal may differ from the other and the need to keep production records per animal is important.

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Milk aggregation is the collection of milk from various producers for ease of processing and/or marketing. The aggregation is carried out by individual traders, co-operatives, self-help groups and processors.

Value addition includes grading, cooling, pasteurization, packaging and transportation. In order to increase the value and shelve life of the Milk it is processed into value added products such as butter, cheese, yogurt, Mala, ice cream, powder milk, long life etc. Long life milk dried whole milk and skim milk powders have ready export market but are produced in limited quantities because of the low processing capacity.

Processed milk and milk products in Kenya constitute between 20% and 30% (0.395 billion litres) of the total marketed milk and dairy products, an indication that there is a high preference for unprocessed milk. 

Major milk processors are the New KCC, Githunguri Dairy Co-operative Society, Brookside dairy, Limuru Co-operative Dairy and Meru Central Dairy Co-operative Union. In total there are 54 registered milk processors but only 34 are operational.  In total, the processors handle 1.5 million litres per day but their installed processing capacity is 3 million litres. Therefore 50% of the processing capacity is unutilized.

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MARKETING

In Kenya, informal milk outlets absorb most of the milk from smallholder farmers accounting for over 86% of the total milk sold, while formal market handle 14% of all the total milk produced. Cooperatives remain the main channel for collecting milk destined to the formal market. Brokers, traders/hawkers, transporters, co-operatives and farmer groups are the most important participants at the rural markets. Trading blocks for milk and milk products include regional markets (EAC, COMESA), EU-African-Caribbean-Pacific/Lome Convention and the African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Kenya has potential to export dairy products, having the largest and well-developed dairy herd in Sub-Saharan Africa. Kenyan dairy products are currently being exported to Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Saudi Arabia among other countries.

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The dairy development policy provides direction on the growth and development of the dairy sector.  The policy acknowledges the role of informal milk markets in the development of the sector and will help to legitimize small-scale milk traders, subject to them being trained and certified in milk hygiene. The governament is currently engaging the stakeholders in formulating the National Dairy Policy (Draft) and the National Animal Breeding Policy (Draft) with a view to develop the sector futher.

An elaborate legal and regulatory framework supports the dairy industry in Kenya. The main regulatory body in the dairy industry is the Kenya Dairy Board (KDB) and has the responsibility of developing, promoting and regulating the dairy industry. The Kenya Bureau of Standards is the statutory body charged with enforcement of standards and certification of quality standards of all products and services in the country.

List of the policies that affect Dairy sector in Kenya

SERVICE PROVIDERS

Service providers are organizations that offer services for the growth and development of the dairy industry. The various service providers are expected to ensure efficient delivery of demand driven research, extension, finance and market information services. The service providers are Public, Private or NGOs who support value chain operators.