The County Government of Kiambu will partner with small dairy societies in an ambitious programme that will see them go into value addition with a view to increasing returns.
The plan also includes increasing the number of dairy cows in order to raise milk production in the county, which boasts of the largest farmers’-owned milk process, Githunguri Dairies that is the maker of Fresha products.
Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro said the initiative will help societies set up their respective milk processors and also in marketing their products, noting that the aim is to ensure the region gets at least four more farmer-owned processors.
The project, Mr Nyoro said, will assist targeted societies to acquire coolers and milk pasteurizers as well as other needed equipment, in a deal where the county government will facilitate and act as guarantor.
The county has several miniature dairy farmers co-operative societies among them Ndumberi Dairies, which makes Winners yogurt and Limuru, a former giant whose processor has been facing financial challenges as well as Gatamaiyu, Kiambaa, Kikuyu and Gikambura, which sell their milk in raw form.
Mr Nyoro, an agricultural expert said already, the county in partnership with the national government is giving out coolers to Ndumberi Dairies, Kikuyu, Gikambura and Gatamaiyu as well as one in Mang’u and Gatundu South.
The deputy governor said their goal is to ensure all milk produced in the region is processed because it is the only way to ensure farmers reap more.
Mr Nyoro, an agriculture expert said they intend use Githunguri Dairies which has an annual gross output of seven billion shilling that goes directly to its close to 20, 000 members as a mirror while undertaking the ambitious program.
“It is difficult and requires large capital but we will be working with the societies to achieve it because we know the more the milk is processed, the more farmers get money into their pocket,” Mr Nyoro said.
Githunguri, which collects milk from dairy farmers in Githunguri Sub-County and lower Lari operates with a daily capacity of over 250,000 litres, and processes fresh milk, long life milk, yoghurt, maziwa lala, butter cream ghee cream under the Fresha flagship.
Other milk processors in the regions include Lari based Pascha dairy, which processes and packs fresh milk, Maziwa Lala yoghurt and cream under the Pascha flagship, Uplands Premium Dairies and Palm House dairies.
Other than starting new processors, Mr Nyoro said they also have another programme that will see all homesteads in the county own heifers.
The county will also through the veterinary unit improve the pedigrees of the existing cattle as a way of boasting the quality and quantity of milk production.
“We are establishing a big dairy farm where we will be breeding heifers with a view to distributing them to our farmers. We want every farmer in the county in the next five years to own a heifer so that we can increase milk production,” Mr Nyoro said.