Farmers feel the pinch as milk prices tumble
Milk prices have dropped from Sh30 per litre to Sh25, sparking protests by farmers.
The farmers are now accusing local dairy companies of colluding to lower prices despite the high demand for the commodity due to the dry spell.
Farmers who spoke to The Standard said the sudden price reduction was effected simultaneously by all milk buying firms two weeks ago.
SEE ALSO :Dairy farmers protest drop in milk prices
“There was no explanation given,” said Jane Muthoni, a farmer.
The farmers, who are already struggling to feed the cattle now say they are incurring heavy losses.
“We need help from the Government, as prices of hay and other feed for our animals keep rising due to the current drought,” said Ms Muthoni.
The farmers described the fall in prices as baffling.
“It is common sense that when milk is in high demand, the price goes up. We are experiencing the opposite in Nyandarua,” said John Njenga, a dairy farmer in Pondo village.
SEE ALSO :Governor links milk price crisis to cheap imports
Local leaders blamed the price fall on brokers out to exploit farmers and called for a State intervention.
“They are taking advantage of the fact that not all farmers are able to transport milk to local dairies,” said Nyandarua Woman MP Faith Gitau.
She said most of the farmers in the region relied on dairy farming, and that if the sector collapsed, the region would sink further into poverty.
“Milk is Nyandarua's lifeline. We cannot sit and watch as the sector collapses like it happened to pyrethrum,” she said.
SEE ALSO :Punitive fines and fees will push up milk prices
The farmers are now hoping for milk coolers promised by Deputy President William Ruto, which they hope will help stabilise prices.
During a tour of the area three weeks, the Deputy President promised that the national government would deliver 35 milk coolers to be distributed to five sub-counties.
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Milk pricesFarmersGovernmentDeputy President William RutoNyandarua