By Benjamin Obegi
Giant milk products processing firm, Brookside, has continued its growth strategy by target more devolved units.
In the latest move, the firm has begun milk collection points in Nyamira County.
The strategy which is expected to benefit dairy farmers in the county by increasing capacity on dairy skills and a steady market for milk will also cushion farmers from the exploitation of brokers who have in the past been blamed for low prices.
The poor remuneration has forced some dairy farmers to abandon animal rearing for crops.
Currently, milk in the County fetches sh30 per litre with Brookside expected to raise it to sh45.
In a statement issued by the firm procurement director, George Gethi, the programme has already been rolled in Manga, Borabu and Masaba sub-counties.
To start with, the processor began by imparting dairy farming skills to the farmers.
According to Gethi, this is a continuation of a broad strategy that targets devolved units as new frontiers to grow the firm`s market grip and brand visibility.
“We realize that our next growth will obviously come from the counties. What we are doing is just deepening the new partnerships. The value of this growth is that we are also looking at scaling up the dairy knowledge base of our farmers. The farmer is at the centre of this drive especially in the counties,’’ he said.
He added that they will closely work with the county government to ensure dairy farmers are trained on the best practices on animal rearing in order to increase production.
The processor is set to ride on the gains by a deliberate policy by the county government aimed at boosting dairy farming. Three years ago, the county developed a framework that aims at using artificial insemination and in-breeding to scale up production.
Therefore, the processor will fill the market gap following the production rise.
According to data obtained from the county livestock department, Nyamira County produces 30 million litres of milk annually.
The processor will also train dairy farmers on clean milk production and handling, financial literacy, ledger keeping among other key areas.