Camels produce more milk and for a longer period than any other livestock species in the ASAL conditions of Kenya. However, this comparative advantage has not been fully exploited due to inadequate comprehensive research in post-harvest value addition. The main constraints to the camel milk value chain are: (a) inadequate information on camel milk market structure and demand (b) concerns over public health hazards (c) low hygiene status of camel milk production and handling, and (d) lack of cost-effective post-harvest handling technologies to improve shelf-life and to expand production and marketing. The stakeholders’ meeting at Wajir brought to the fore some pertinent challenges and opportunities faced by the different players in the milk marketing chain in the ASALs.
To transform Kenya’s agriculture into a commercially oriented economic activity for food and nutrition security increased household incomes and employment creation while utilizing the natural resources and biodiversity sustainably.
To increase camel milk quality and safety through development of improved post harvest handling and value-added market-oriented camel milk and products of better quality, safety and shelf life thus create income and improve the standard of living of pastoralists in the semi-arid and arid region of Kenya.
1. To conduct situational analysis of camel milk production and marketing chain in Laikipia and Isiolo districts, and Nairobi city.
2. To develop and promote appropriate intervention packages necessary to make the camel milk value chain more efficient and beneficial to all the stakeholders.
3. To assess and develop appropriate the post-harvest handling practices for value-addition and enhanced marketing of camel milk in Laikipia and Isiolo districts and Nairobi city.
4. To develop and communicate Information and Knowledge sharing packages for camel milk post-harvest handling and marketing.
This research aims at addressing all the above issues by studying the camel milk production and marketing structure, determining the factors affecting the hygiene status of camel milk, utensils and equipments, identifying public health hazards and developing appropriate camel milk handling techniques for small and medium enterprises.
The camel milk value-addition chain will include milk production, raw milk handling, processing and packaging, and marketing.
The study will be carried out in selected free-holder areas and ranches in Isiolo and Laikipia Districts. Another stakeholders’ workshop will be held at Isiolo to get further information on challenges and opportunities in the milk marketing chain, not captured in Wajir but relevant to the study sites. Data on camel milk the stakeholders’ inception workshop.