Kenya Climate Ventures, KCV, an independent financial organization in Kenya, has made a financial investment in Meru Highlands Dairy, the second biggest dairy processor in Meru County.
The investment in the form of a debt facility will help Meru Highlands to acquire processing equipment. This equipment will further accelerate the expansion of Meru Highland’s production in the long-life milk market. There has been an increasing trend of consumers from fresh milk to long-life milk, presenting significant potential for market growth.
KCV’s investment will also allow Meru Highlands to expand its overall production capacity, providing access to a fair and reliable market for dairy farmers in Meru and the neighbouring county of Isiolo. KCV says that the Kenyan dairy market has excellent growth potential.
KCV CEO Victor Ndiege says, “We have invested in Meru Highlands because of its growth potential and commitment to providing a reliable market and fair pricing to small scale dairy farmers in Meru County.”
One of the critical issues hampering the growth of dairy in Kenya is the supply and quality of milk from farmers. To address this problem, Meru Highlands provides services and support to dairy farmers in these areas to improve quality, yields and sustainability throughout the supply chain.
Justus Nguu, CEO of Meru Highlands, says, “We are providing small scale dairy farmers with technical support, training and a market for their milk. The acquisition of this processing equipment means high demand for milk. We are, therefore, asking more farmers to take this opportunity and practice dairy farming since the market is assured.”
Under the brand name Lisha Milk, Meru Highlands produces a wide range of products such as yoghurt, ghee, purified water, fresh, full cream and long-life milk. According to the CEO, these products are of high quality, nutritious, long-lasting and carry with them a refreshing taste. With distribution across the country, one can buy these products at any retail shop near them.
Meru Highlands production facilities have expanded in recent years, creating more opportunities for dairy farmers in Meru County. Mr Nguu says, “Less than seven per cent of milk in this region is processed, leaving a lot of room for growth in the market.
“The demand for high quality processed milk has been growing in the Kenyan market due to the increased consumer awareness around the risks of drinking unsafe, contaminated milk. Meru Highlands is well-positioned to meet this rising demand,” he adds.
The growth of Meru Highlands will also see the growth of small dairy farmers in the region hence faster community development. The company is encouraging farmers in Meru and the semi-arid regions to pursue dairy farming. At their dairy farm in Meru, they are open to assisting the farmer with artificial dissemination, training on caring for their dairy cattle, and a market for their milk.