Poland’s entry into the dairy sub-sector with its generous concessional loan of Sh 10.5 billion worth of dairy equipment and expert training has elicited interest among local farmers.
Among items on offer are milk chilling and bulking facilities, milking machines, liquid nitrogen plant, milk quality testing machines for the Kenya Dairy Board, cold storage facilities for meat, potatoes and horticultural produce as well as embryo transfer equipment, grain storage silos and mobile grain driers.
Polish Ambassador Marek Ziolkowski said his government planned to inculcate a new thinking in the dairy sector in Kenya within the next five years driven by Polish dairy experts saying this would have a direct impact on Kenyans.
The main emphasis is to entrench the use of machinery in dairy farming, storage, transportation and processing. The move will clearly give Kenyans a first-hand experience of Poland’s success story.
Poland is one of the four dairy giants in Europe, selling nearly 70 per cent of the region’s milk even as its farm sizes and dairy herd keep reducing.
Interestingly, it was recently fined for exceeding its export quota to other EU member countries and is currently making forays into the world milk market after becoming the fourth largest milk producer in Europe after Germany, France and the united Kingdom.
This is mostly credited to its ongoing programme to modernize operations within individual farms, merging of dairy enterprises and modernization of the entire dairy chain.
Last year, Poland produced 24 times more milk than Kenya, it produced 12 million tonnes of milk compared to Kenya’s half million.
While Poland remains unnoticed, its entry into the Kenyan dairy machinery market as well as commercialisation of the embryo transfer market has sent tongues wagging over its intention especially by its planned government-backed direct link with dairy co-operatives.
Livestock Principal Secretary Fred Segor said the equipment would be distributed across the country to co-operative societies with clear needs for more storage for milk produced.
He said upcoming dairy farmers would also be engaged in adoption of modern technology to enhance milk production.
The PS added that embryo transfer would be conducted at Agricultural Development Corporation farms to multiply sexed embryos of dairy breeds with a high yielding capacity. Poland’s soft loan will be repaid at a 0.7 per cent interest rate over a 25-year period.