Milk consumers in Kiambu County have over the few weeks been forced to dig deeper into their pockets as the prices of milk have drastically escalated.
Initially, a litre of milk retailed at Sh 60 while half a litre of the same was sold at Sh30. However, a litre of the same milk is now retailing at Sh65 while half of the same goes for Sh35 which most people say was too high.
“Despite the increase being Sh 5 only, it’s hard for those of us with big families as a litre is not enough for an average family. The Sh 5 is important for the common mwananchi. Why is the government increasing everything? “Teresia Wambui, a customer at Kirigiti Market, lamented.
Despite the increase in prices, a milk retailer in Kirigiti, Kiambu County insisted that one could purchase the commodity at any price.
“We sell milk according to the amount of money a customer has, from as low as Sh20. The only difference now is the quantity will reduce despite the price remaining the same,” Moses Aluoch told KNA.
Shadrack Murithi, a livestock officer of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Kiambu County talking to KNA from his office attributed the increased prices to the high cost of production incurred by the farmer.
“If the cost of production is high the farmers increase the prices while supplying the commodity. Dry weather being experienced currently in the area which has resulted in a decrease in pastures has consequently forced the farmers to purchase Napier grass or travel for long distances in search of pasture.
“Kiambu County is currently experiencing a dry spell despite the cold weather. The grass is dry and Napier grass is either sold at high price as it’s not readily available hence the cost of milk going up,” Murithi told KNA.
Moreover, the increase in milk prices has been attributed to increase in the prices of animal feeds as the government has introduced Value Added Tax on the commodities and this has prompted the farmers to increase prices to make a kill from their milk.
“The dairy meal is very expensive as the government introduced value added tax on the feed, therefore the cost was transferred to the farmers who shift it to the customers to avoid losses,” he added.