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Milk production in North Rift drops as drought prolongs

BUSINESS
By TITUS TOO | March 12th 2015

ELDORET, KENYA: The prolonged drought has occasioned a drop in milk production by over 50 percent in parts of the North Rift region thus pushing high the demand for the produce.

The situation has however advantaged hawkers who are doing lucrative business in the informal market by hiking prices and selling milk to consumers at between Sh 50 and Sh 60 per litre up from the normal price of between Sh30 and Sh40 a litre depending on respective urban centres.

A section of stakeholders in the dairy sector reveal that hawkers have adversely affected supplies to the main milk processors by offering better pay to farmers.

A source claimed that processors offer farmers between Sh 36 and Sh 40 per kg depending on the quantity supplied while some dealers in the informal sector have taken advantage of the prevailing demand by offering farmers as high as between Sh 40 and Sh 50 per litre.

"There is drastic fall in milk supplies due to prolonged drought. We currently receive an average of 5,000 kgs of milk per day down from the 12,000 kgs during the peak season," said Dr Paul Sanga, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lessos Livestock Breeders Network (Lelbren) in Nandi.

Lelbren is a registered group of farmers in Lessos and adjacent regions of Nandi County who collect their milk produce and supply it in bulk to the main processing plants.

Dr Sanga who spoke to The Standard on Thursday noted that most farmers rely on natural pastures and also source their water from wells, which have however been adversely affected by the prolonged drought.

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