Commodities

Dairy regulator sets sights on milk import

kibogy

Kenya Dairy Board managing director Margret Kibogy. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The dairy regulator will import milk if supply gets worse at a time prices have risen twice within a month.

Processors are grappling with a shortage of milk supplies owing to the dry spell that has impacted production at the farm level.

The Kenya Dairy Board (KDB) managing director Margret Kibogy said they are monitoring the situation and are yet to make the decision on imports.

“We will only make that decision (to import) if the supplies situation gets too low,” Ms Kibogy told the Business Daily.

Ms Kibogy said the agency is monitoring to see if the rains that are forecast to start next week will have an impact on production.

“The meteorology report is very promising and we expect it to boost production, we are monitoring the situation very closely,” she said.

All the leading processors have adjusted their prices by between Sh2 and Sh5 for a 500ml packet of fresh and long-life brands.

The review has raised the retail price of a 500ml packet of fresh milk to Sh53 from Sh50 for New KCC brands and Sh52 from Sh48 for Ilara while the long-life brands are retailing at Sh55 in supermarkets.

The country has exhausted stocks of powder milk that are normally turned into fresh commodity during dry seasons to supplement limited supplies coming in from farmers.

Processors normally convert excess milk into long-life products such as powder milk, which is then stored in the strategic food reserve for future use.

Producer prices

Processors have previously justified the increment in the price of the milk, citing a sharp rise in producer charges who are paid up to Sh45 for a litre.

The drought that the country has been witnessing since January has had a significant impact on farming with its effects on milk production started being felt last month.

Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows the formal sector recorded an intake of 802 million litres of milk last year against 684 million that was realised a year earlier.

Already the meteorological department has said that various sections of the country will receive rain in April, raising hopes of improving supply of the commodity.

[email protected]