SMAP has started sensitizing farmers from Kitiri and Kabiyet Dairy Cooperatives in Nyandarua and Nandi counties respectively, on adopting a traceability system that will monitor milk quality.
This is in preparation of use of a digitalized traceability system, that is set to be piloted in the two cooperatives starting in January 2017
The sampling section of farmer will soon sell their milk in terms of quality as opposed to quantity.
This will promote milk quality in terms such as butter content and protein level among other considerations.
Last week, farmers and officials from Kitiri and Kabiyet Dairy Cooperative Society were sensitized on the benefits of producing high quality milk to enhance better markets.
They were also sensitized on a new mobile telephone application, which will enable digital traceability system which will show records across the value chain.
Dubbed e_TraceD, the app will be able to send records to a computer software.
“The records will include farmer’s names and location, amount of milk delivered to the collection point and its status such as results of alcohol test,” said Pascal King’oku, a Software Developer at Electics Innovate
The status of the same milk will be registered as it is being handed over to transporters and being received to the processors.
According to Kenya Dairy Board , processors often reject milk in bulk, but it is usually hard to identify the source of such milk.
“But with an efficient traceability system, it will be possible to know the specific farmer(s) whose milk is rejected,” said KDB’s Chief Dairy Development Officer Paul Ndungu.
Processors look for the best quality of milk to make cheese, butter and other products. However, farmers often pay lesser attention in enhancing quality and concentrate more on quality.
“We are looking forward to a time when farmers will emphasize on quality production, and processors will reciprocate in paying better for the same,” said Ndungu
The traceability pilot project is anticipated to roll out start in January.
It is funded by European Union in partnership with United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), KDB among other partners.
Earlier in the year, SMAP trained some officials and members of the two cooperatives on milk quality and market access.