Meru Central Farmers’ Union has increased the price of milk from farmers by two shillings to cushion them from the prevailing economic hard times.
Speaking to the County, the union’s CEO Kennedy Gitonga said the move was geared towards sustaining dairy farming now that many other businesses had either gone down or completely closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic related challenges.
Gitonga said the union was committed to having dairy farmers remain in business and be able to benefit from the looming shortage of milk in the country where the government is contemplating importing the commodity.
The CEO said the pandemic had adversely affected production and consumption of milk in Meru County, saying farmers were benefiting a lot when the county government was buying milk for lower primary learners along with some learning institutions buying milk for the learners directly from the union.
He said Meru had the potential to produce enough milk for consumption within the county and for export to neighbouring counties, adding that most areas in the county were endowed with favourable weather for agricultural activities.
Gitonga appealed to the government to consider empowering dairy farmers with the required resources and inputs required to keep dairy animals healthy for increased milk production before taking the importation option.
“Importing milk was likely to disadvantage local farmers who were already experiencing tough economic times due to the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.