Munya bans milk import by State agencies
Trade and Industry Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has banned government agencies from importing milk in a radical move to expand the local market for domestic dairy processors.
At the same time, the CS revealed plans are afoot to ensure firms in the export processing zones (EPZ) source milk powder and dairy products from local firms.
His directive makes milk the third product after leather and uniforms for defence forces that will not be sourced from foreign markets.
“Any government agency that is buying anything, especially milk, must buy it from here. The information I have is that the major producers of milk powder, companies like the new KCC, Brookside and others are not supplying to any of our agencies,” he said when he presided over a farmers’ bonus award ceremony at Brookside headquarters in Ruiru.
Munya termed it unacceptable those processors like Brookside’s milk powder segment was only operating at a marginal 20 per cent of its capacity because of uncontrolled importations.
On the spot are government forces that he decried were notorious for importation of powder milk. Yesterday, Brookside issued Sh125 million as a bonus to 67 farmers’ groups and milk traders who represent part of its 165, 000 farmers who supply it will milk daily.
This accounts for milk supplies made between December 1, 2018 and November 30 this year. Speaking at the event which, was also graced by the firm’s Executive chairman Muhoho Kenyatta, Group Chief Operating Officer Faiz Taib, hailed farmers for consistency in milk supplies despite erratic weather patterns.
He attributed this to dairy training courses and model demonstration farms where the company trains farmers on better farming practices including feed conservation. He urged farmers to invest their bonus on commercialising their farms to ensure increased productivity and better profit margins.
Brookside is currently looking at expanding its market by venturing into new regions within the continent and overseas as well as introducing new products to its portfolio.
Growth of Kenya’s milk industry has been on an upward trend, attracting massive foreign investment as billionaires seek to gobble up existing opportunities in the averagely exploited dairy industry.
Stability of the sector is sustained by a rapid population growth, and country’s ever expanding middle-class whose appetite for package milk continues to play into processors’ gallery.