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Kenya’s milk output down 30 pct in 2017 due to drought   

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s milk production in 2017 declined by 30 percent to 3.64 billion liters due to prolonged drought, the industry regulator said on Friday.

Margaret Kibogy, managing director of Kenya Dairy Board (KDB), attributed the fluctuating production to the dairy sector’s dependence on rainfall.

“In order to cushion the country from declining milk production, the government is encouraging farmers to preserve pasture for use during the dry season,” Kibogy told Xinhua on the sidelines of the launch of KDB’s Strategic Plan 2017-2022.

The strategic plan will provide a coordinated and systematic approach in addressing the many underlying challenges caused by seasonality in milk production.

Kibogy said that the majority of milk produced from cattle, camels and goats is consumed by farmers or sold informally.

She noted that in 2017 only 535.7 million liters of milk was processed by the 28 licensed milk processors and mini-dairies, down from 648.2 million liters in the previous years.

KDB noted that most milk processors are operating at an average capacity of 40 percent against the optimum level of 60 percent.

According to the milk regulator, the country’s 1.8 million small-scale dairy farmers produce an average of seven to nine liters per cow per day, against a potential of 20 liters.

Kibogy said that the country’s milk demand has been growing annually due to rising income as well as urbanization.

Data from KDB also indicates that Kenya exported a total of 3 million kg of milk in 2017, up from 2 million kg in the previous year.



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