The first School milk programme in Kenya was started by the former president Daniel Arap Moi in 1979 and was fully funded by the government. It covered the whole country covering 4.3 million pupils in 11,000 public primary schools.
Kenya co-operative Creameries, as monopoly in milk processing and distribution, was contracted by the Government to process and pack milk for the program. Most of the milk, 80% was ultra-heat- treated and packed in 200 ml long life packs. The balance was pasteurized and packed in 200 ml packs mainly for the schools in urban areas.
The pasteurized milk was delivered directly to schools by KCC while the long life product was distributed through the infrastructure of the Ministry of Education.
Benefits realized from the program
Included a number of benefits such as;
- Guaranteed market for Kenyan milk which greatly benefited dairy farmers
- Led to expansion of milk collection, cooling and processing capacity of KCC
- School attendance and general health of the children improved according to teachers.
- Instituted a culture of milk drinking hence the high per capita consumption in Kenya
Key challenges faced by the program
The program was faced by several challenges which eventually led to its stoppage by government.These included;
- High and unsustainable costs
- Poor road infrastructure which affected distribution
- Heavy losses through spoilage
- Lack of capacity on proper handling and storage
- Poor accountability leading to losses and pilferage