Ideas & Debate

EDITORIAL: Tackle dairy sector mess

The typical Kenyan cartels seem to be lurking in the current milk glut that threatens to deal a blow to the farm gate prices if it persists, especially after it emerged that the unusually high amounts of the commodity from Uganda are raising concerns.

According to Trade Secretary Peter Munya, the government plans to send a fact-finding delegation to Kampala to establish whether the imports are indeed from Uganda. However, we should be worried that Kenya imported a whopping 110.7 million litres of milk from the East African Community between January and September while our farmers have no market for their highly perishable produce.

The agricultural sector has borne the brunt of poor policies, especially after the collapse of the sugar and textile industries.

The dairy sector has not fully recovered after the revival of the Kenya Co-operative Creameries (KCC), creating the New KCC, which has announced price cuts. This not good news for farmers after farm gate prices dropped from an average of Sh37 in January to Sh19 per litre – nearly 50 percent decline. It's time Kenya puts its act together and reins in the shadowy forces responsible for the mess in the vital sector. The solution to the milk glut is not rocket science.