Dairy farmers are worried as the prices of processed milk more than doubled in most outlets across the country, yet…
Dairy farmers are worried as the prices of processed milk more than doubled in most outlets across the country, yet they are not reaping the windfall. A litre of milk is currently retailing Sh70.
A month ago, it was going for Sh30 and prices are expected to continue rising, yet farmers are still being paid as little as Sh30 for their milk at the farm.
In Mweiga, Stephen Mwaniki, a dairy farmer, said he was still selling his milk at Sh30 and did not understand why the processors were increasing the retail prices but not passing some of the benefits to farmers.
“The drought affected milk production and I have reduced the amount of milk I am taking to the market. However, I don’t understand why the prices have increased yet I am still selling my milk at Sh30,” he said.
Mr Mwaniki noted that he had attempted to raise the issue with his dairy society, arguing that it should increase the rate it is buying milk from farmers, but the management had been reluctant to listen to him.
“We had a meeting with the cooperative society and complained, demanding that they increase the amount they pay us per litre, but so far nothing has been done,” he explained. Mwaniki is not alone, Endarasha dairy farmer Benjamin Wangai said he was selling his milk at Sh31 a litre.
“I watch the news and I don’t understand who is pocketing the money because as a farmer, I am not benefiting from the price hikes,” Wangai said. He explained that he hoped his local cooperative would consider increasing the rates at which they buy fresh milk from the farmers.
However, farmers not affiliated to cooperative societies such as Charles Njoroge in Mukurwe-ini constituency said he had raised his prices two months ago. “I am selling my milk at Sh55 a litre directly to the processor.
I do not have any brokers eating into my profits,” he said. Njoroge said the drought had drastically reduced the quantity and quality of milk in the market and with the cost of feeds increasing, he had no choice but to increase his price.