NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 17 – Tetra Pak Eastern Africa Limited in collaboration with East African Dairy Development (EADD) Project and New KCC has launched a Dairy Hub for the Kokiche Farmers Group in Sotik town of Bureti District.
The dairy hub is to benefit over 2,000 dairy farmers in a bid to develop the dairy sector value chain and create a more sustainable source of milk in the district. Kokiche division has an estimated population of 90,000 dairy cows with each farmer averaging around three cows on estimated five acres pieces of land.
“The intention is to bring together players in the local dairy value chain by sharing expertise and resources so as to increase the quantity and quality of milk processed through the cooling plants established by EADD. This is expected to bring sustainability in the sector and ensure milk availability all year round,” said Tetra Pak’s Ken Ouma.
The innovative pilot project with an estimated value of Sh27 million has since seen the formation of the Kokiche Dairies Company Ltd, owned by over 2,000 registered shareholders in Bureti district.
The dairy hub to be implemented in twin phases will see the installation of two 5,000 litres cooling tanks among related infrastructure and fixtures at Cheptalal. Upon completion of the cooling plants, the Kokiche Dairy Company would be able to handle a minimum daily intake of 8,000 litres of milk per day.
The division divided into nine locations records an average productivity per cow of 2.5 litres with a potential daily production per day of 112,500 litres.
New KCC will offer competitive milk prices to Kokiche farmers for all milk produced at the two cooling plants and transport this for processing into long life (Ultra Heat Treated) milk at the Sotik processing plant.
EADD will provide technical support to ascertain longevity of the project through various interventions to improve production and sustainability in the dry season. These include; the introduction of modern breeding methods to improve productivity and the immunisation of all dairy animals, animal feed development, facilitate training for Kokiche management, milk collectors and cooling plant operations among others.
Tetra Pak in turn will cover the costs of consultancy covering value chain study including development of strategies to sustain and grow the project.
Tetra Pak will also equip the farmers with food grade containers for transporting and packaging of milk to satellite collection centres and the cooling plant, in addition to strengthening Kokiche’s management capacity.
With the dairy hub set up, farmers’ standards of living will improve. Farmers will have easier access to essential inputs and services such as feeds, breeding technology and vet services.
Mr Ouma added: “Currently, the dairy industry in Kenya is reliant on weather patterns as evidenced recently. This dairy hub is one of three we have in the pipeline whose aim is to support the entire value chain. It is our endeavor to collaborate with sector players with an overall aim of introducing professionalism in the dairy industry whilst ensuring processors have consistent quantity and quality of milk supply throughout the year.”