KENYA – The Kenya Dairy Board (KDB), a government parastatal that regulates and licenses the Kenyan dairy sector, was crowned the Government Agency of the Year, at the Africa Food Awards 2023, held in Nairobi, Kenya.

While receiving of the award, a KDB representative said that as a regulatory body, the board takes seriously its responsibility to protect the health and safety of consumers of milk and milk products.

“The board enforces strict quality standards, conducts regular inspections of dairy processing plants, and takes appropriate action against non-compliant industry players,” she said.

To ensure compliance with the Dairy Industry Act and other relevant regulations, the KDB works closely with other government agencies such as the Kenya Bureau of Standards, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries, and the National Environment Management Authority.

“The board also collaborates with industry stakeholders, including dairy farmers, milk processors, and other players in the dairy value chain, to promote sustainable and profitable growth of the industry,” she added.

According to the parastatal’s Managing Director, Margaret Kibogy, the board permits the greatest possible degree of private enterprise in the production, processing, and sale of dairy produce, consistent with the efficiency of the producer and the interests of other producers and consumers.

“We ensure either by ourselves or in association with any government department or local authority, the adoption of measures and practices designed to promote greater efficiency in the dairy industry,” she added.

“The Kenya Dairy Board also plays a critical role in regulating and promoting the growth of the dairy industry in Kenya by ensuring compliance with quality and safety standards.”

She also noted that the board contributes to the improvement of the livelihoods of dairy farmers, the availability of safe and nutritious milk and milk products, and the overall economic development of the country.

Earlier this year, KDB proposed the enactment of a strong regulatory framework in the country’s dairy sector at both national and county levels to ensure milk and milk product enterprises comply with quality and safety requirements.

Speaking during the drafting of the dairy industry bill 2023, Kibogy, noted that the framework would help protect consumers, enhance private sector participation, boost investment, and promote trade in the dairy industry, not just in Kenya, but in the external markets as well.

“The current legislation regulating the dairy subsector enacted in 1958 was not in harmony with modern farming practices and technological advancements and recognized cow milk only; The Draft Dairy Industry Bill, 2023 now also gives recognition to sheep, goat, and camel milk,” she said.

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