Dairy farmers threaten to stop milk deliveries as prices drop
Maize farming“Maize farming is on its deathbed in this region that used to be the country’s bread basket. Farmers had initially decided to run to the dairy sector but frustrations coupled with failure by the ministry to regulate the sector has made life difficult,” said Mr Chemuor. David Bett, a farmer from Bomet County, said the importation of milk from neighbouring countries was hurting the dairy sector. Mr Bett suggested that counties be allowed to champion the rights of dairy farmers by offering regulatory oversight. “We need to come together as a strong advocacy group by ensuring that counties that produce milk also strive to regulate it. The milk will be processed within counties, which will help us source for markets that offer better prices,” he said. Bett said that it was prudent to establish a policy to address issues affecting dairy farmers. The farmers’ sentiments come in the wake of plans by an umbrella body that advocates for dairy farmers’ rights to stop delivering raw milk to processors.
Boycott deliveriesSpeaking yesterday on phone, Kenya Dairy Farmers Federation Chief Executive Officer Gideon Birgen said they would boycott milk deliveries to protest the falling prices. “We have a big problem in the dairy sector. We are toiling hard to ensure that we produce quality milk but we are faced with challenges that have been caused by the processors,” said Mr Birgen. He claimed that the market was flooded with powdered milk from neighbouring countries, which made it difficult for farmers to sell their raw milk and make a profit. “We are going to cripple the dairy sector by the end of the week. Our concerns have to be heard because we have constantly been neglected by the State.”