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Kenya eyes African dairy markets to boost farmers' incomes

Christian Fernsby ▼ | June 5, 2019
Kenya is exploring west and north African dairy markets in order to boost farmer's incomes, officials said on Tuesday.
Kenya dairy market
African economies   Kenya dairy market
Harry Kimutai, principal secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation, told a media briefing in Nairobi that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will remove barriers for Kenyan goods seeking access to the rest of Africa.

"We are preparing the dairy sector to produce competitively so that we can sell our surplus dairy products in Africa," Kimutai said during the official launch of the Kenya dairy industry annual award program.

Kimutai noted that Liberia has already expressed interest in importing Kenyan dairy products.

The government official said that Kenya will have to convert milk into value added products such as milk powder and cheese in order to increase its penetration of the African market.

According to Kimutai, the dairy is one of the fastest growing agricultural sub-sectors in Kenya, providing a livelihood to over 1.8 million smallholder rural households and many others throughout the value chain and in support services.

"The dairy industry contributes over 4 percent to the gross domestic product (GDP), due to the increasing domestic milk production which averages 5.3 percent per year and dairy processing capacity growing at 7 percent per year," Kimutai added.

He observed that the growth in milk production is driven by expanding urban demand, at a rate of 3 percent, resulting to a national per capita milk consumption of 110 liters, which is one of the highest in Africa.