The Kenya Dairy Board has sought to assure consumers milk prices will not change despite low production.
According to Kenya’s The Star, KDB managing director Margaret Kibogy yesterday said the price of a 500ml packet will remain between Sh45 to Sh55 despite the 35 per cent reduction in production.
Livestock PS Andrew Tuimur last week said milk production has declined by 20 per cent in areas that use supplementary feed including fodder, hay and silage, while areas that practise open grazing in parts of North Rift have recorded a 50 per cent drop.
He attributed the decrease to the prolonged drought and inadequate rainfall during the October-December short rains. On average, Kenya produces 5.2 billion litres of milk annually.
Ms Kibogy said dairy processors were able to convert raw milk to long life and powdered milk during the short rains.
“This is the milk that is currently being consumed and it is enough to last the country two months,” she said.
Ms Kibogy said processors still have stock of long life milk and 5,000 tonnes of powdered milk.
The main milk processors including KCC and Brookside each have about 3,000 tonnes and 2,000 tonnes of powdered milk respectively.
“There should be no cause for alarm as the prices will remain the same,” New KCC managing director Nixon Sigey said.
The Kenya Meteorological department’s projections of the long rains shows depressed rainfall is expected in Eastern.
Mr Tuimur said the government is monitoring the situation and may open the window for importation powdered milk if the situation gets bad. This is to ensure milk prices do not go beyon Sh65-Sh70.
In May last year, the government waived duty on powdered and long life milk imports.
Mr Tuimur said the government had targeted a stock of 9,000 tonnes of powdered milk, but the dairy processors imported only 4,000 tonnes.
The National Drought Management Authority last Thursday said Isiolo, Kajiado, Tana River, Garissa and Mandera counties are the hardest hit by drought.
About 3.4 million Kenyans have been affected by drought. The government, in conjunction with World Bank, will pay 9,700 pastoralists affected by drought during the short rains season to help mitigate the effects.
Source: The Cattle Site