Milk Processing Plant Feasibility Study in West Pokot County, Kenya

West Pokot County is one of the 47 Counties in Kenya, which is said to produce high quality milk. However, various challenges have continued to face the county including but not limited to poor milk pricing due to monopoly and lack of processing facilities which could handle the high quality milk produced in the region. Owing to the county’s dairy potential against the backdrop of lack of processing facility, the Ministry of trade, Industry, Cooperatives and Energy proposed a feasibility study to be conducted to assess the potential of establishing a milk processing plant in West Pokot County. The study adopted a mixed research method. This method makes use of both quantitative and qualitative approaches which compliment each other. The sample size of the study included one hundred and forty seven (n=147) dairy farmers belonging to various farmer cooperative societies in the county, four (4) key informants who were selected from four cooperative societies. Further, the study relied on secondary data from case Dairy Cooperatives including Meru Central Dairy Farmers Co-operative Union, Limuru dairy farmers Cooperative Society, Kiambaa Dairy Farmers Cooperative Society, Afrodane Dairy Training Institute. Both probability and non-probability sampling procedures were used to arrive at the sample of the respondents who took part in the study. Simple random sampling procedure was used to arrive at the sample of dairy farmers. Purposive sampling procedure on the other hand, was used to arrive at the sample of the key informants from farmer cooperatives and the case milk processing plants. Various data collection methods were used to collect data including questionnaire and interview methods and observation methods. Quantitative data collected using questionnaire method was processed with the help of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS ver. 21). Qualitative data collected through interview method was analyzed using content analysis approach. The study revealed that the county had some potentiality to support the establishment of a small milk processing plant capable of handling 29,000 kg of milk per day. This is based on the county’s milk production levels of 10.6 kg of milk per year, infrastructural provisions and market network. The total investment cost for such a plant was estimated at Kes 957,353,820, which would take a payback period of 2 years. The study recommends that for the county to support such an investment, there is a need to prepare the ground before starting the plant in terms of building the capacities of farmers through training, improvement of breeds through artificial insemination and enhancement of animal feeds preservation mechanisms. Additional necessary initiatives are needed in terms of changing attitudes towards processed milk, encouraging farmers to keep more commercial dairy cows, improving physical  infrastructure in the locked up areas as well as creating technology enhanced dairy farming management systems that bridge knowledge gap among diary farmers. Further, based on the break-even computations, the study established that the plant should have sales of more than KES 430,446,810 per annum if it has to make a profit within the first year.

Institution: Ministry of Trade, Industry, Cooperatives and Energy: State Department Of Cooperatives – West Pokot County
Date: January 2017 to May 2017
Investigators: Anthony M. Wanjohi (KENPRO) and Pauline Kamba (Top Edge Consultants)

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