The Kenya Dairy Board (KDB) has challenged farmers to increase their milk production to meet the growing need of products such as cheese.
KDB Standards and Enterprise Development Manager Paul Ndung’u said Kenya produces approximately 391 metric tons of cheese annually, which was not sufficient to meet the growing demand by consumers.
He said there was a great potential for the country to increase production to satisfy the demand if farmers agreed to boost production, which would in turn translate to more earnings.
Ndung’u said the government had created an enabling environment for dairy farmers to reach full potential and make good returns for their investment.
He for instance said the 60 percent custom duty and other tariffs imposed on imported cheese provided an opportunity for locally produced cheese to be competitive in the Kenyan market.
Speaking Wednesday during a training for cheese processors in Nyeri, Ndung’u said the current production of cheese was not enough to meet even the local market demand such as hotels, fast food restaurants as well as domestic consumers.
This deficiency, he said, had necessitated imports especially of specialized cheese, which was not available locally.
The training focused on equipping processors with skills to enable them to invest in small and large scale production of cheese and other forms of value addition to boost profitability and enhance access to domestic and regional export markets.
Cheese is a concentrated dairy food consisting of coagulated, compressed and usually ripened curd of milk separated from whey. It is produced in different styles, textures and flavors to suit the taste and preference of consumers.
By Samuel Waititu