The Kenya Dairy Board (KDB) has partnered with Bright Dairy Farmers Group and Kenya Dairy Farmers Federation to revise the currently suspended draft dairy regulations.
According to Mrs. Margaret Kibogy, Managing Director, Kenya Dairy Board, the decision was arrived at following various consultative meetings with key stakeholders in the sector. She indicated that the regulations have come a long way from 2016 and so they are working on comprehensive regulations that will be facilitative to all players in the dairy industry.
However, she expressed KDB’s concern of the dairy industry being very fragmented especially with the milk producer organizations which stifles any efforts for structured consultations. She welcomed other dairy stakeholders to approach and partner with KDB with as they continue making efforts to have a better organization for future engagements and collaborations in the industry.
“We are very happy that the Government through KDB has heard our cries as small holder dairy farmers and went ahead to engage us. We acknowledge that for the dairy industry to thrive we need to have facilitative regulations even as we work towards self-regulation. Therefore, we as small holder dairy farmers in the country will continue offering our un-wavered support for these regulations even as we continue making amends so that it does not hurt the grass root farmers in the remote parts of the country,” noted Elisha Bwatuti, Executive Secretary, Bright Dairy Farmers Group.
Among some of the key concerns that were raised by Mr. Richard Soy, Secretary General of the Kenya Dairy Farmers Federation and a Representative of Siongiroi Dairy Co-operative, to be addressed by the State Department of Livestock and the County governments for smoother transition into the regulations include: high cost of milk production caused by expensive feeds and veterinary services, milk production being very seasonal as it is highly reliant on the rains leading to increased importation of milk, increased adulteration in the dairy sector and insufficient infrastructure – roads, cooling plants and capacity building on sustainable production of safe and quality milk.
“As we go through this process and the state officials prepare the country’s fiscal budget, we call upon the parliamentarians to make proposals and amendments to the country’s fiscal policy that favors small holder dairy farmers in line with the realization of the constitutional right to food,” concluded Mr. Bwatuti.