While developed markets in Europe have a somatic cell count - an indicator of the quality of milk - of less than 50,000, South Africa’s is less than 500,000 while Kenya’s figures are much higher than these.
White blood cells known as leukocytes constitute the majority of somatic cells in question. Experts maintain that improvements in the value chain will ensure that only pasteurised milk is sold in the market. This is as opposed to the present practice where raw milk hawkers still control a large chunk of urban dairy markets.
A report released by the Kenya Dairy Board and published in August 2013 shows that the dairy industry in Kenya is smallholder based (70 per cent of milk supply), and that the dairy sector accounts for 14 per cent of Kenya’s agricultural gross domestic product.