- There is a shortage of dairy products like butter and cheese on the shelves and what is there is expensive.
- In February, the PS attributed the increase of milk prices to the severe drought in the country and the high cost of animal feed.
The government has suspended the ban issued by the Kenya Dairy Board on importation of powder milk.
Livestock Principal Secretary Harry Kimtai reversed the ban that was issued on March 6.
Through a letter addressed to all importers of dairy produce, the PS said he has suspended the ban to allow for the Dairy Industry (Imports and Export) Regulations 2021 to apply accordingly.
“Reference is made to the recent communication made by Kenya Dairy Board regarding the stoppage of milk powder imports. Take note that, importation of products under the East African Community protocol refers to goods being imported from outside the EAC while goods traded within EAC are referred to as transfers,” the letter reads.
KDB managing director Margaret Kibogy had on March 6, issued a notice to all importers of dairy produce on the ban on milk powder importation.
Kibogy said this was in anticipation of the onset of the March-April-May long rains.
“In anticipation of the long rains, the government has stopped the importation of milk powder to cushion the industry from surplus production and low producer prices,” she said.
“Consequently, the board has temporarily suspended the issuance of these import permits until further notice.”
She added that the board would continue to monitor the production and demand for milk and milk products in the country and would advise the government accordingly.
After the ban was issued, Uganda, which is Kenya’s highest trade partner in milk powder, immediately moved to seek an alternative market for their product.
Last week, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni sought market in Algeria to ensure the decision made by Kenya does not hurt his country.
Museveni made an agreement with his Algerian counterpart Abdelmadjid Tebboune to have Uganda export milk powder and other dairy products to the North African country.
There is a shortage of dairy products like butter and cheese on the shelves and what is there is expensive. The price of milk has also gone up to between Sh60 and Sh65 for a 500ml packet.
In February, the PS attributed the increase of milk prices to the severe drought in the country and the high cost of animal feed.
“When fuel prices go up, the cost of production increases too and the farmer cannot bear that burden alone so it is passed on to the consumer," Kimtai said.
"Consumers need to understand the reality that the cost of living has gone up and with drought and high cost of animal feed, the farmer is struggling to produce milk.”