Camel Milk as an Export Product
There has been an upsurge in interest in Camel’s milk and estimates by Resource Moblization Centre who were commissioned by Netherlands Development Corporation (SNV) puts the production value of the Camel Milk sub-sector at Kshs 8 Billion. The report further clarifies that demand for Camel Milk is not generally from a food perspective (in competition with Cow milk) but rather as a health product and therefore sensitivity to price is not as high.
The report also states that Vital Camel Milk Ltd (VCML), a company based in Nyanyuki, has made significant efforts to penetrate this market and attests that current market demand far exceeds current supply and, by and large, the market can take as much camel milk as can be supplied provided it meets required quality standards and regulatory hurdles in some markets (such as the EU) are cleared. VCML has supplied milk to this market segment in South Africa, the USA (California) and Chile in Southern America. The current issue is therefore not whether there is sufficient demand, but rather, whether the supply can guarantee required quality standards, volumes and consistency.

Statistics from the Food and Agricultural Organization( FAO) for 2007 Show that Kenya has the fifth largest herd of Camels in the World and is therefore well placed to take advantage of this phenomenon.. Camel milk contains 3 times more vitamin C than Cow’s Milk, is rich in iron, unsaturated fatty acids and B vitamins. It is also claimed to reduce diabetes and Coronary Heart Disease although research is ongoing. Market access may be enhanced by product diversification into products such as Yoghurts, Cheese, Butter, Ice Creams, Pudding and even chocolate. A company based in Dubai, Al Nassma, was reported in the Telegraph as being the first to produce chocolate from Camel’s milk.

As access to international markets improves, Camel’s milk nutritional values and product diversification will ensure that it continues to enjoy a niche market.
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