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Commodities

Milk prices seen rising on consumer rush to stock up

New KCC factory
A worker at the New KCC factory in Kiganjo, Nyeri sorts milk powder cans on July 6, 2019. PHOTO | GRACE GITAU 

Consumers could be staring at higher cost of milk in the coming days following a decline in supply and high demand in retail outlets brought about by panic-buying.

Livestock Principal Secretary Harry Kimtai says there has been a slight decline in volumes since February.

The decline has resulted from a reduction in land under forage as farmers in the North Rift cultivated farms in preparation for planting this season's maize crop.

"There has been a slight drop in production because of the ongoing farming activities especially in the North Rift where the land under fodder has been reduced due to cultivation," said Mr Kimtai. He said the drop in milk volumes has also been caused by the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease which affected production, though it is not a major contributor given it was been in the country throughout last year. Processors have witnessed high demand of milk from customers, especially the long-life type as Kenyans seek sufficient stocks.

The New Kenya Cooperative Creameries managing director Nixon Sigey, however, said consumers should not panic because there is enough powder milk to last the country the next four months.

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Kenya Dairy Board managing director Margret Kibogy said it is still compiling figures in order to come up with the actual level of decline. "Yes, there has been a slight decline in production but we are still working on the figures," said Ms Kibogy. She said the decline has seen some processors increase produce prices. Brookside last week raised the cost per litre to Sh36 from Sh35.

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