Kenya mulls ban on raw and powdered milk imports to protect local industries

KENYA – Kenyan law makers have called for ban of importation of powdered milk and raw milk into country in a move to protect the local industries from cheap imports which have been diluting the market.

This follows a report by a parliamentary committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation that the country imported 70 million litres of liquid milk and 10 million Kilogrammes of powdered milk in 2018.

Additionally, according to a report by The Standard, In January 2019, the ministry imported 15 million litres of liquid milk and 1.5 million Kilogrammes of powdered milk despite the country’s high production potential.

Emmanuel Wangwe, the committee vice chairman, highlighted that the country should develop systems to capacitate local milk production as an intervention to cushion the sector from milk imports.

“The continuous importation of powdered milk is undermining dairy farmers,” the vice-chairman added.

According to Gabriel Kago a member of parliament, raw milk imports especially from Uganda have continued to negatively impact on the economy as locally produced milk is unable to compete with cheap imports in the market.

“Our farmers cannot be able to compete with milk coming from Uganda since their production is low,” Kago said.

This comes at a time when the Kenya Dairy Board was compelled to withdraw the new regulations to be introduced in the dairy industry following a public outcry from bothe processors and farmers.

“The Kenya Dairy Board wishes to inform all stakeholders, that the processing of the proposed regulations has been suspended to allow for consultations and further public participation,” read a statement by the Board. 

However, the regulator had said that the regulations were meant to streamline and formalise the dairy industry in order to create a more sustainable dairy sector in the country.

“The proposed regulations do not in any way attempt to create any monopoly or stifle dairy sector but are meant to enhance and promote sustainability of the sector to the benefit of all stakeholders,” the board said in a report.

Last year, the government was also considering a reduction of the 67 per cent duty on imported powdered milk because the country could not produce enough to meet demand. 

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