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Farmers feel the pinch as milk prices tumble

By James Munyeki | February 28th 2019 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

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.

Price reduction

Farmers who spoke to The Standard said the sudden price reduction was effected simultaneously by all milk buying firms two weeks ago.

“There was no explanation given,” said Jane Muthoni, a farmer.

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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.

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.

Milk coolers

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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