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Regulations to manage dairy sector awaiting gazettement  

The Ministry of Agriculture has forwarded new dairy regulations to the Attorney General for gazettement to improve the sector.

Agriculture, livestock, fisheries and cooperative Cabinet secretary Peter Munya said the regulations have undergone due process and are only waiting for gazettement for implementation to start.

He observed that public participation on the regulations was carried out and after gazettement, the regulations are expected to streamline the dairy farming in the country.

Speaking in Murang’a on Tuesday, Munya said the regulations are seeking to stabilize prices of dairy products in an effort to lock out cartels who exploit farmers.

The regulations, he added, will ensure Kenya dairy board sets minimum price for raw milk from farmers saying importation of dairy products will be banned to ensure local milk attracts better prices.

The CS observed that influx of dairy products in the country from neighbouring countries had resulted to drop in milk prices occasioning farmers huge losses after heavily investing in livestock farming.

Munya said the regulations will give the Kenya dairy board an obligation to carry out a study in every six months  to recommend the minimum price for milk to the Cabinet Secretary. “After the study the dairy board will propose the minimum price, then the ministry will gazette the new prices,” he added.

The CS said the stabilizing of milk price in the country has been in place but there was no law to enforce it noting after gazettement, the regulations will be applied. “We want farmers to be sure of the price of their milk so that when they are investing in their livestock, they know the money they are expecting,” he added.

The government, Munya noted, will soon address other issues in the sector including subsidizing cost of feeds, pesticides and ensuring transparency in cooperatives among other challenges which have affected the dairy sector.

He lauded Murang’a county government for investing a lot in the dairy sector citing the milk processing plant which was established by Governor Mwangi wa Iria’s administration.

On his part, Governor Wa Iria said the county administration had assisted dairy farmers by ensuring a set minimum price for their milk.

Since his first term in office, Wa Iria said farmers had not received less than Sh. 35 per litre of milk which prompted other milk buyers to increase the commodity’s prices.

He lauded the move by the Ministry of Agriculture to set up regulations which, he noted will go a long way in helping dairy farmers in the country.

by Bernard Munyao

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