24 – 26 September 2014. Nairobi, Kenya. This conference hosted over 600 delegates (policy and decision makers) from over 50 countries within and outside Africa.
It had eight topical sessions from strategic information on the world and continental dairy industry outlook, trends, future projections, practices opportunities and challenges to policy issues impacting on dairy industry development, trade and competitiveness and sustainability to technical issues of interest to players along the value chain.
The event hosted workshops and seminars by the dairy sector partners and supporters with long-term commitment to the dairy industry in Africa. Workshops and seminars gave in-depth presentations on some of the cutting edge technologies and emerging knowledge to dairy industry actors attending the conference as well as pre-registered trade visitors. Details of the private workshops and registration are coming soon.
One workshop tackled the issue of aflatoxin contamination:
UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Livestock Development Officer Olaf Thieme told the dairy forum in Nairobi that the sector is largely unexploited in the region due to a variety of constraints.
“We are urging governments to partner with the private sector in order to improve the productivity of the sector. This group should be assisted to commercialize their operations in order to improve the yields. The average per capita milk consumption for Africa stands at 50 kg compared to the global average of 100 kg.”
Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto said Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa trading bloc produces 12 million metric tonnes of milk annually against an annual demand of 14 million metric tonnes, adding the region relies on imports in order to plug the deficit.
Cabinet Secretary for agriculture Felix Koskei said the dairy industry contributes four percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, up from 2.8 percent in 2003. He said the industry is most visible in the rural areas where it is a major source of livelihood.
Government data indicated there are 1.2 million dairy farmers in Kenya. Koskei said Kenya produced 5.2 billion litres of milk put, of which only 550 million litres was processed by the dairy industry in 2013.