KENYA – The Kenya Dairy Board (KDB), the dairy industry regulator body in Kenya, has defended the new dairy industry regulations that are set to be taken to be taken to the National Assembly before becoming law.

The new regulations, which the Board says are meant to bring order into the sector, and which have been in the pipeline for a long time, will create a more sustainable dairy sector in the country.

However, critics say that the proposed regulations will bolster the large scale processors while putting at a disadvantage small scale dairy farmers in the country.

KDB has said it has engaged various stakeholders in the dairy sector including experts drawn from Government, private sector, development partners, milk producers, traders and processors in the development of the regulations.

According to the regulatory body, stakeholder engagements started in 2016 culminating in a national stakeholder forum held in June 2017 at Kenya Agriculture Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) headquarters.

The board revealed that it had taken into account the input from stakeholders involved in generation of a draft that was presented in the recent stakeholder forum held at KALRO in March 2019.

During its development, KDB said that the experts benchmarked the new regulations with dairy industries across the world in a bid to formalise the dairy industry in the country.

KDB says that among the major factors that necessitated the review included the rapidly changing technological innovations, as well as the need to update the policy and regulations in line with the liberalized nature of the industry.

Additionally, the developments seek to enable access of Kenyan dairy produce to markets and respond to increasing incidences of malpractices in the milk trade and consumer demands for quality and safe products.

The board said that this is also in line with the statutory requirements that require regulations be reviewed after every 10 years.

KDB has however note that the proposed regulations do not in any way attempt to create any monopoly or stifle the dairy sector but rather enhance and promote sustainability of the sector to the benefit of all stakeholders.

Notably, the regulations also seek to promote consumption of safe and quality of milk by ensuring conformance by all players in the dairy sector.

For example, one of the regulations on traceability of milk requires that all milk for sale be clearly marked.

“Dairy produce which is placed on the market or is likely to be placed on the market shall be adequately labeled or identified to facilitate its traceability,” reads part of the regulations.

KDB has therefore called for more proposals with an overall goal of developing an enriched regulatory framework in the Kenya’s dairy industry