The USAID in partnership with Kenya Co-operative Creameries (New KCC) and Dairy Cows Kenya want you to consume more milk. This is contained in an ongoing promo which states “Adequate consumption of milk and dairy from early childhood and throughout life helps make the bones strong and protect them against diseases like osteoporosis in later life. Dairy products are high energy-yielding food products – that’s why USAID supports the Dairy Has It All campaign. Have you had your dairy today?”
This campaign seems to be targeted at all the age groups unlike most TV ads that have a misleading element that one has to be a kid to drink milk. If you haven’t seen the advert yet, you can catch their posters below
Most farmers will applaud this but the tough job will be how to sustain the consumption amidst changing feeding and weather patterns in and around the region. According to an article appearing The East African title ‘Got Milk? Kenya’s Dairy firms in joint publicity campaigns‘ Kenyans remain the highest consumers of milk in the East African region. This is a fact usually seen in simple practice as tea-making and taking which is easily Kenya’s ‘social drink’ unlike in some countries such as Tanzania, Somalia and Ethiopia where black tea or coffee is more common.
The other dilemma is if the milk processors are able to sustain the milk production without compromising on both the quantity and quality. Fairly good rains in most of the agricultural regions has seen the milk output increase and reach optimal levels. However, a lot of wastage is still seen in some areas where the infrastructure is lacking.
Also, if the campaign is to be successful, dairy farmers across the country need be included and remunerated well for their efforts in ensuring good milk production and supply. The whole supply chain needs to be streamlined to see to it few or no bottlenecks exist. The farmers can also participate in weekly or monthly awareness forums to sensitize locals on the need for consuming milk.
Another element which the USAID would have ‘milked’ is the sportsmen and women from this country. That they have been able to make their exploits across the world thanks to regular consumption of milk is without a doubt. Maybe someone should even look at patenting and packaging the famous mursik from the Rift Valley region.
All in all, it is a good start and it is our hope that the renewed interest in milk consumption will not just benefit the milk processors who are more commercially driven but also work to promote a healthy feeding culture in the country and region. It should also benefit the farmers with increased earnings from their labor in dairy farming.