State to fix producer milk prices to curb exploitation, says Munya
Friday, February 12th, 2021
The government will soon start regulating milk prices to guarantee market stability, Agriculture Cabinet secretary Peter Munya has said.
He said the ministry has drafted new dairy regulations and the same have been subjected to intensive public participation.
Equally, the rules have been forwarded to the Attorney General for gazettement after which they will become law.
Key focus of the regulations, Munya said is regulating the minimum price for milk in the country.
“Every six months, we will be undertaking a study and equally setting up a price for milk.
The regulations will also help in controlling imports which have been a big challenge in the industry,” he added.
Munya added: “Government is keen to ensure the local producers are protected against imports in order to benefit from the prevailing market prices.”
The CS made the remarks while briefing the media on the status of the country’s dairy sector at a Nairobi hotel.
Milk prices in the recent past increased to between Sh37 and Sh45 per litre, which the CS said is a result of government interventions in terms of stabilising the prices.
For instance, he said the government has in the last one year introduced new levies to protect the local producers against influx of imports.
“We have been controlling that because even our farmers must feed themselves.
As we take care of the region, we must also take care of our own farmers,” he said.
Munya said the government has no plan to interrupt the regional trade by employing new levies as the country is only reciprocating since the countries in the region had done the same earlier than Kenya.
During the media briefing, Munya said processors are paying local farmers an average of Sh37 while dairy co-operative societies are paying an average of Sh35.
“Sometimes the processors pay the co-operatives and then the cooperatives pay the farmers, hence the price disparity.
But the price has stabilised against the government target of Sh34 per litre of milk.
Some cooperatives like Githunguri are offering Sh35 for a litre,” he said. Munya said the demand for milk has picked up and processors are offering a high of Sh45 for a litre of milk.
Kenya Dairy Board says the annual milk production stands at 5.28 billion litres, produced by 1.8 million smallholder dairy farmers.