KENYA – The Kenyan dairy sector has reported a 25% increase in milk production according to the Kenya Dairy Report.

Latest industry report by the Kenya Dairy Board covering between January and March indicated the volume of milk has gone up from 47.9 million kilogrammes in January to 60.2 million kilogrammes last month.

According to Business Daily, the increase in volume has been attributed to rains that pounded most parts of the country in recent months.

“We have witnessed growth in volumes in the last couple of months because of the rains and we expect the quantities to go up in the coming days,” said Andrew Tuimur, chief administrative secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture.

“With this growth, it is unlikely that we are going to import powder milk as the quantities are now sufficient.”

In February, he had indicated there was a likelihood of removing duty on imported powdered milk following a 20% decline in production to allow importation of the commodity to tame possible rise in consumer prices.

Milk imports attract a 60% duty plus an additional 7% Dairy Board levy, making its importation a costly affair.

Last year, the Treasury scrapped duty on imported powder milk to curb rising prices, allowing processors to import 9,000 tonnes of the commodity.

However, the firms only managed to ship in about 4,500 tonnes by the time the window was closing in December.

Processors cited high international prices as the reason they could not import all the required volumes.

Kenya has an annual processing capacity of 1.4 billion litres, which translates to 3.9 million litres a day.

But processors do not operate optimally due to milk sold in the informal sector.

KDB managing director Margaret Kibogy said the board is working with other stakeholders in training farmers to embrace the formal market for their milk, a move that also aimed at raising safety standards.

KDB has been educating consumers on importance of consuming processed milk but households have been constraint by high cost of the processed product.