Dairy farming creates 900,000 jobs according to a report by the agriculture ministry
Close to 2 million households in Kenya rely on daily farming as a direct source of income in the dairy subsector. 80% are small to medium scale dairy farmers who produce milk and breed animals.
The report by the Livestock PS Fred Segor who was recently moved to the water ministry ,dairy is the single largest agricultural enterprise contributor to the national GDP at more than 4 per cent representing 12 per cent agricultural GDP.
The current annual milk production in Kenya is estimated at 5.2 billion litres, 60 percent of which is produced by 3.5 million exotic dairy cattle and their crosses; 40 per cent from 14 million zebus, 2.9 million camels and 400,000 dairy goats.
More than 70 per cent of the milk is produced by the smallholder farmers.
Nearly 80 per cent of milk produced in Kenya is sold raw to consumers in rural and urban areas, about 20 per cent is processed to various milk products.
In Kenya there are 47 registered milk processors, but only 27 are operational New KCC, Brookside and Githunguri dairies are the dominant players in the market controlling more than 70 per cent of the processed milk.
Dairy farming is concentrated in the medium to high potential areas of the country where human population density is high and exerting pressure on land.
It has significantly contributed to the national food nutrition security, Kenya has one of the largest and most developed dairy sub-sectors accounting for 18 percent of milk production in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Total milk production in Sub-Saharan Africa constitutes 3 per cent of the world production, the sub Sector has significantly contributed to the rural economy and accounts for 14 percent of agricultural gross domestic product (AGDP) and 4 percent GDP.
Moreover the sub sector is the single largest component in agriculture growing at 4.1 per cent per annum compared to 1.2 per cent for agriculture as a whole.
Until independence large scale commercial dairy farming was dominated by white settlers but after independence smallholder dairy producers dominate the industry.
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