Kenya misses milk export to Oman as drought cuts supplies pipeline


Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries PS Harry Kimtai. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG

Oman’s plan to get more milk from Kenya to boost its Ramadhan stocks has hit a snag following a drought in the country that has cut supplies and sparked higher consumer prices.

Oman wanted to step up imports from Kenya. It, however, couldn’t get the desired volumes, with Kenya losing an opportunity to get more revenue from the Middle Eastern state.

Livestock Principal Secretary Harry Kimtai says the lack of enough volumes locally has hampered the exports plan.

The New KCC recently initiated talks with the Azim Milk Company of Oman in a deal that would see Kenya’s milk export increase by Sh100 million per annum. The deal was for the supply of lactose-free milk for an initial five years.

“Oman wanted more milk from us because of demand in their country but they could not get it because of the current drought that has impacted on supplies,” said Mr Kimtai.

Kenya has mainly been targeting the supply of high-value products such as butter, ghee, powder, and long-life milk product such as UHT to diversify its market beyond East Africa.

Kenya is facing a shortage of milk following a prolonged drought that has cut supplies to the factories, raising prices of the commodity.

The country in January resumed the export of live animals to Oman after a 16-year hiatus that saw more than 40,000 heads of livestock worth Sh200 million leave the Port of Mombasa.

A ship carrying more than 14,000 goats and sheep from different livestock-keeping zones left Mombasa for Salalah Port, Oman, as the two countries agreed to boost livestock trade in the coming years.

Kenya has the potential to export more than 500,000 animals annually and is expected to ship out livestock every month to Oman and Gulf region.

The country has signed a number of export agreements with countries in the Middle East to facilitate the sale of livestock products. Kenya intends to use the new Lamu Port for livestock and meat exports.

The Lamu port is closer to the key animal production areas in the Northeast part of the country.

[email protected]