Kenya's Brookside invests TSh26b in Arusha


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Brookside invests Sh1.3b in Arusha


By Brian Adero in Arusha

Brookside Dairy has launched a dairy farmers programme in Tanzania which will boost the company’s daily milk sales in the country to 60,000 litres in the next two years.

Brookside plans to invest up to $20 million (Sh1.34 billion) in new machinery at its newly acquired Arusha plant — called Jamii— in anticipation of the increased milk delivery. The firm is in the process of branding the entire operation.

The dairy has already forged partnership with over 2,000 dairy farmers in Tanzania only three years since venturing into the country.

The company’s General Manager for Milk Procurement and Extension Services, Mr John Gethi, assured over 1,000 farmers in Fuka, Siha District in Tanzania over the weekend that Brookside has a ready market for them.

The dairy is currently receiving some 13,000 litres of milk from local farmers daily, up from 1,000 litres three years ago and has set the target of 60,000 by 2009. Gethi said Brookside has paid Tsh400 million (approximately Sh22 million) in the last eight months to Tanzanian farmers for milk deliveries.

He said the Brookside Arusha plant will be upgraded with the addition of a new UHT processing facility at a cost of $2 million.

He urged the Tanzanian government to remove taxes on animal feeds and farm inputs, improve infrastructure in milk growing areas and provide the farmers with micro-financing to enable growth in the sector.

Also at the farmers’ meeting was the area District Commissioner, Ms Anna Rose Nyamubi, who welcomed Brookside Dairy’s entry into the region. She asked the company to empower local farmers through technical knowledge on milk production.

The DC asked Brookside Dairy to facilitate a tour of local farmers to its plant in Kenya where they can learn more about dairy farming.

Brookside Dairy had provided dairy experts from Kenya during the meeting to train the farmers on how to maximize milk production through practicing better animal husbandry.

Two Tanzanian farmers benefited from the firm after winning two dairy cows. Gethi said the company has decided to introduce long life UHT milk because the government of Tanzania has announced that the plastic bags will be banned from the market come next year as part of an agreement within the East Africa Community.

He said that following their extensive market strategy and the quality milk produced, the company currently controls a substantial market share in Tanzania.

He appealed to the banks to give farmers loans to enable them expand their produce. "They should subsidise prices of livestock drugs. We also appeal to the banks reduce lending rates to farmers so that they can have loan access," he said

The DC said her government has banned cross border livestock grazing, especially those from Kenya, saying that her country suffered a lot during the Rift Valley Fever outbreak. "We were not able to eat meat after the government banned meat consumption. This time round, we are not going to allow animals coming from neighbouring countries," she cautioned.

She said that her government will punish parents who instead of looking after the animals themselves, give the responsibility to the school going children, especially girls

The Tanzanian government is working towards making every child attend at least primary school, she added.

"I thank Brookside for making our farmers realise their dreams. I urge the management of the firm to organise for training to our farmers in Kenya so that they can learn more from our brothers in Kenya," she said

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