Kenyan milk firm to invest $20m in Dar operations By ERIC ODINYA Special Correspondent East Africas largest dairy firm, Brookside Dairy of Kenya, will invest Ksh1.34 billion ($20 million) in Tanzania. The move will see the company boost the countrys milk consumption to 60,000 litres daily in the next two years. It will also acquire new machinery and renovate its newly acquired Arusha factory to handle more milk delivery. The companys general manager for milk procurement and extension services John Gethi told The EastAfrican that the Arusha factory, which the company recently acquired, will be upgraded with the addition of a new Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) processing facility at a cost of $2 million. Mr Gethi said the firm has already forged a partnership with over 2,000 dairy farmers in Tanzania only three years since venturing into the country. According to Mr Gethi, the firm has already paid Tsh400 million ($400,000) in the past eight months to Tanzanian farmers for milk delivery. Brookside receives some 13,000 litres of milk from local farmers daily, up from a mere 1,000 litres three years ago. It has set a target of 60,000 litres by 2009. Brookside urged the Tanzanian government to remove taxes on animal feeds and farm inputs, improve infrastructure in milk growing areas and provide farmers with micro-financing to enable growth in the sector, Mr said. The District Commissioner of Siha in Kilimanjaro, Anna Rose Nyamubi, said Tanzanian dairy farmers are happy with their partnership with Brookside as it has helped them improve the quality and size of their herd, which are now producing quality milk in higher quantities. Ms Nyamubi said Brooksides entry into the Tanzanian market will empower local farmers through technical knowledge of milk production. According to her, Brookside will facilitate a tour of local farmers to its factory in Kenya so that they can learn more about dairy farming. Brookside had provided dairy experts from Kenya to train the farmers in how to maximise milk production by practising better animal husbandry, she said. She said Tanzanian consumers can look forward to enjoying a variety of Brookside products that include long life, flavoured or fermented milk (mtindi), yoghurt, butter and ghee. The companys entry into the Tanzanian market will also create more job opportunities for local people as we seek to make the company a leading employer in the region and a true East African success story, said Mr Gethi. Brookside is the leading dairy processor in the region. Besides Tanzania, the company plans to expand to other African countries in the Comesa and Southern Africa regions. It has negotiated loan arrangements with some of Kenyas leading financial institutions, including Kenya Commercial Bank and Equity Bank, to enable farmers to obtain loans to expand their businesses by purchasing additional cattle or farm machinery.