Powder milk 'has led to low prices'

Governor Francis Kimemia has said Government agencies are to blame for the influx of powdered milk, which has contributed to falling milk prices.

The governor blamed unregulated importation of milk powder, which he said had caused a glut resulting in reduced returns for farmers during this dry season.

Speaking yesterday in Ol Kalou town, the county boss called on the national government to re-look into policies which have the effect of stifling realisation of the Big Four agenda.

“It is unacceptable that when the cost of producing a litre of milk is at its highest, we find the purchase price being reduced due to a glut caused by persons who are not milk producers,” Kimemia said.

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He said the county was hardest hit with farmers incurring heavy losses.

A litre of raw milk is being sold at Sh23 to milk processors down from Sh35 last month.

High demand

"This is totally unacceptable. We cannot have our farmers incurring such losses yet the prices of cow feeds are going up. The national government must intervene and solve this problem," he said.

Last week, farmers threatened to boycott selling milk unless prices were increased.

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Through their spokesperson Jane Muthoni, the farmers said they were making losses at a time demand for the commodity was high. 

“There was no explanation given by the management of the dairy processing plants where we deliver milk. The story is the same in all dairy plants,” said Muthoni.

She noted that farmers were incurring losses running into millions of shillings even as fodder remains scarce.

“We need help from the Government as hay prices and other food for our animals keep increasing due to the current drought. We do not understand why they decreased milk prices,” she said.

Mr John Njenga, a dairy farmer from Pondo village, wondered why milk prices had reduced, yet demand for the commodity is high.

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“It is common sense that when a commodity is in high demand, the price goes up. We are experiencing the opposite,” he said.

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GovernorFrancis KimemiaGovernment agenciesBig Four agendaJane Muthoni