Kenya is likely to import about 200 million litres of milk from the East Africa Community (EAC) in the year, in order to bridge the production deficit, the dairy industry regulator said on Wednesday.
Margaret Kibogy, Managing Director of Kenya Dairy Board (KDB) said Kenya was not sufficient in milk production due to rising consumption fueled by rising incomes and urbanisation.
“We typically rely on the EAC trading bloc which has a liberalised trading regime to meet milk consumer demand,’’ Kibogy said during the AgriFi Food Safety Programme forum.
Kibogy said that imports from outside the EAC economic bloc were limited to specialised dairy products not available in the region in order to cushion the local dairy sector.
According to the milk regulator, Kenya processed approximately 648 million litres of milk in 2018.
Kibogy said that Kenya would implement a number of measures to ensure that annual processed milk reaches the one billion litres mark by end of 2022 in order to stop milk imports.
She added that Kenya’s milk production increased in January compared to a similar period in 2018, but production had been declining since February due to the ongoing drought.
KDB is currently training farmers on pasture conservation techniques in order to ensure they maintain milk production despite the ongoing dry spell.
Kibogy noted that Kenya’s milk sector was susceptible to changing weather patterns due to over reliance on rain for livestock pasture.
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