KENYA – The Kenya Dairy Board has issued a stern warning against the trade of illegal powdered milk in a bid to protect local farmers and stabilize the dairy market.

The caution, delivered by Genesio Mugo, Chairperson of the Kenya Dairy Board, during an inspection tour of a local milk processing plant in Korakora division, Garissa, emphasized that there is currently no permit for the importation of powdered milk into the country.

The government initiated a crackdown last month, leading to the arrest of several suspects in Eastleigh and the recovery of illegal goods.

Mugo underscored the board’s commitment to creating a market for local milk from camels, cows, and goats.

“We want Kenyans to consume our milk, not from other countries. The illegal milk is taking away our local market,” he stated.

Mugo also highlighted the presence of powdered milk from local companies like the Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC) and the growing interest from investors to establish more powdered milk plants to meet domestic demand.

With favorable recent rains, Mugo assured the public that the country has the capacity to produce sufficient milk for local consumption.

Managing Director Margaret Kibogy disclosed that the focus is on non-traditional milk-producing counties like Garissa. The Kenya Dairy Board has conducted training sessions for farmers and stakeholders to enhance dairy farming knowledge.

Kibogy revealed plans to expand its services in high milk consumption areas by establishing offices to better connect with stakeholders.

Regarding the illegal powdered milk, Kibogy confirmed collaboration with a multi-agency team to crack down on illegal products, emphasizing the importance of compliance with regulations and laws to protect local farmers and consumers.

 She expressed concern over the safety of illegally imported milk for human consumption.

In a related development, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua announced a government allocation of Sh900 million to the Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC) to stabilize milk prices.

Speaking in Trans Nzoia, Gachagua explained that the funds aim to prevent a drop in prices due to a surplus in production.

Consequently, milk prices are expected to rise to Sh50 per litre from March 1, 2024, with plans to further increase to over Sh60 per litre in the coming months.

“As a government, we released Sh900 million to stabilize the prices in the milk sector after a glut following the heavy rains,” he said.

“The move seeks to safeguard the interests of both farmers and consumers in the face of market fluctuations.”

 

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