Kenya’s Brookside Dairy on Thursday announced plans to venture into the West African market to sell its products and also launch full-scale operations.
The company's chairman, Mr Muhoho Kenyatta, said Africa also needs to eradicate trade barriers, which, he said, harmed African economies.
Mr Muhoho made the revelation when he hosted Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who visited the Ruiru-based dairy firm, accompanied by a delegation from his government’s agriculture ministry.
Mr Buhari said his country would send agricultural officers to Kenya to learn more about the dairy industry and gain technical experience on dairy processing.
“Brookside Dairy has shown the rest of us that dairy processing can be used to transform local societies economically by helping nurture a vibrant dairy sector. What I saw was tenacity of purpose that has built a successful efficient company over the last two decades,” he said.
Mr Muhoho said 145,000 Kenyan and 55,000 Ugandan farmers received Sh10 billion for milk delivered to Brookside Dairy, adding that it had embarked on an ambitious project to train farmers on feed production and storage.
IMPROVE ANIMAL BREEDS
He said Brookside Dairy was also partnering with the government and other stakeholders to help improve animal breeds for higher milk production.
He said demonstration farmers established in high-potential areas by Brookside were geared toward helping farmers change their farming from subsistence to commercially oriented farming.
“We continue to pursue this strategy of transforming dairy farming into a profitable agricultural enterprise for all farmers, especially smallholders, who form the bulk of those supplying us with raw milk,” said the chairman.
Mr Buhari was taken around the Ruiru-based factory, where he witnessed the process of turning raw milk into milk powder, yoghurt, milkshake, fermented sweetened milk, long-life milk and fresh milk that is then sold to Kenyans and in the rest of the East African market where Brookside Dairy has subsidiaries.
Mr Muhoho said reliance on rain-fed agriculture had undermined milk production.
“To address milk gluts that lead to wastage of milk and poor prices for our farmers, we commissioned a milk powder plant which will help us absorb all the milk produced during the rainy season and also help us [increase] our portfolio of products,” he said.