A revision of the suspended draft on dairy regulations is set to take place following various consultative meetings with key stakeholders in the dairy sector and through a partnership between the Kenya Dairy Board (KDB), Bright Dairy Farmers Group and the Kenya Dairy Farmers Federation.
KDB noted that regulations had come a long way from 2016 and thus the move to start working on comprehensive regulations that will be facilitative to all players in the dairy industry.
The Board, however, expressed a major concern of the dairy industry as being very fragmented especially with the milk producer organizations which stifles any efforts for structured consultations.
KDB’s Managing Director Mrs. Margaret Kibogy welcomed other dairy stakeholders to approach and partner with them 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 smallholder 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 smallholder 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.
Some concerns were raised that need to be addressed by the Department of Livestock and County governments for smoother transition into the regulations including 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.
Stakeholders have called on legislators to make proposals and amendments to the country’s fiscal policy that favor smallholder dairy farmers in line with the realization of the constitutional right to food and include in this year’s fiscal budget.