Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Nturukima dairy goes for milk value addition to increase income

By John Kimani and Richard Murigu
Years of supplying only morning milk to processors at low and unstable prices used to be a major hindrance to the growth of Nturukima Dairy Cooperative in Likii area of Nanyuki. Additional challenges like low production, marketing of milk specifically non-collection of evening milk, poor milk handling techniques and little value addition had seen most of the 135 cooperative members discouraged with the venture.
In 2015, the Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme (ASDSP) in collaboration with the Laikipia County government started the challenges faced by Nturukima Dairy Cooperative as well as 44 other groups to ensure a competitive value added milk products in the county.
ASDSP ensured that the groups received training on clean milk production, group leadership, and practical value addition of raw milk. The groups also learnt environmentally friendly waste management technologies like biogas.
Some members of the cooperative making yoghurt
Mr. Jackson Kanyugo, Chairman Nturukima Dairy Cooperative noted that the knowledge sharing exposure visit which was supported by ASDSP enabled the cooperative to learn best practices and how they can increase their income through milk value addition.
He said that ASDSP also helped create linkage between the cooperative and the Kenya Dairy Board. This has helped in enhancing productivity, efficiency, and quality of member’s milk.
The cooperative is now retailing milk at their two Kenya Dairy Board approved milk bars at Kshs 60 per litre. Initially the cooperative used to supply milk to processors at Kshs. 27 per litre.
The cooperative has increase milk sales from 2,000 to 4,000 litres a day. Milk income has also increased from Kshs 162,000 to Kshs 720,000 per month.
Mr. Kanyugo said that the group has established yoghurt and cheese outlets. They are also producing fermented milk products.

He noted that increased interest in the dairy value chain in Laikipia County augurs well for the cooperative and farmers are seeing a bright future a head.
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