Analysis Of Dairy Innovations And Their Contribution To Dairy Farmers’ Welfare In Selected Counties Of Kenya as Reported By Edith Warigia Wairimu, a Brilliant Postgraduate Student of Agricultural Economics

Edith Warigia Wairimu brings to our attention the various challenges facing the dairy sub-sector in Kenya and the interventions brought out by the public, private sector and other stakeholders. The challenges vary from milk production to marketing and the interventions aim at each point in the value chain. Interventions such as improving local feed resourcing, health management, hygienic milking, efficient milk delivery, appropriate milking cans, supply of cooling systems among others to ensure an efficient supply chain have however, failed to mitigate the challenges. Farmers are still unable consistently supply milk and even meet the quality standards. The study focuses on the interventions that have been adopted and the factors influencing their adoption, the various innovations that lead to efficient and inclusive milk collection systems and the effect of the innovations on dairy farmers’ poverty levels

The Kenyan dairy subsector has a potential of improving household income and reducing poverty among dairy farmers through provision of regular income from milk sale. The subsector is however faced with various challenges including low milk yields per cow, seasonal fluctuations in milk availability and prices with reduced production levels during dry season, adulteration, fragmentation of milk production between small farms, milk collection costs, high level of antibiotics in milk, presence of aflatoxin M1 in milk and high level of microbial load among other challenges. In response to these challenges, the Government of Kenya together with its stakeholders have intervened through  promotion of local animal feed sourcing, improving cow feeding, health management and hygienic milking as well as promotion of exotic breeds all aimed to increase production quantity and decrease seasonality. Other interventions by dairy stakeholders that are aimed at ensuring efficiency in terms of reducing deliver time in the milk supply chain include supply of cooling systems in the dairy cooperative societies, use of appropriate milk cans with an intention of reducing milk losses. A quality based payment system that is aimed at ensuring dairy farmers supply quality milk to the dairies has also been piloted by Happy Cow limited.