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Farmers complain over poor milk market

21 February 2012, 14:46 Ruth Muhito

Dairy farmers in Buuri District of Meru County have criticized liberalization of markets in the sector claiming it makes the milk producers vulnerable to losses through brokers, hawkers and seasonal buyers.

According to the Buuri Dairy Association Chairman Mururi Munyua, these market opportunities threaten milk producers because they are unreliable and inconsistent.

While speaking during the Buuri Dairy Association Field day to train dairy farmers to increase milk production, Munyua said various stakeholders need to collaborate to save the farmer from unreliable marketing channels.

He said through such initiatives, farmers in Buuri are being trained on animal husbandry and in the next three years they will be able to produce more than fifty thousand litres of milk per day. This he said will enable them to establish a milk processing plant.

Currently milk production in the District is low with cows producing 1-4 litres of milk per day a rate which experts say is uneconomical to the farmers.

Speaking during the function, the project manager Martin Gikunda said the region has been faced by persistent drought for the last three years and farmers need to look for alternative sources of income if they have to make ends meet. 

“Farmers need to consider alternative sources of income like dairy farming so that when there is crop failure they can use the stalks and other farm waste to make hay for the animals”, said Gikunda.

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