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Kenya to import 200 million liters of milk this year

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Christian Fernsby |
Africa   Imports from outside the EAC economic bloc are limited

Kenya is likely to import about 200 million liters of milk from the East Africa Community (EAC) in 2019 in order to bridge the production deficit, the dairy industry regulator said.

Margaret Kibogy, managing director of Kenya Dairy Board (KDB) told Xinhua in Nairobi that Kenya is not itself sufficient in milk production due to rising consumption fueled by rising incomes and urbanization.

"We typically rely on the EAC trading bloc which has a liberalized trading regime to meet milk consumer demand," Kibogy said during the AgriFi Food Safety Program forum.

Kibogy said that imports from outside the EAC economic bloc are limited to specialized dairy products that are not available in the region in order to cushion the local dairy sector.

According to the milk regulator, Kenya processed approximately 648 million liters of milk in 2018.

Kibogy said that Kenya is implementing a number of measures to ensure that annual processed milk reaches the one billion liters mark by end of 2022 in order to stop milk imports.

She added that Kenya's milk production increased in January compared to a similar period last year but production has been declining since February due to the ongoing drought.

KDB is currently training farmers on pasture conservation techniques in order to ensure they maintain milk production despite the ongoing dry spell.

Kibogy noted that Kenya's milk sector is susceptible to changing weather patterns due to over reliance on rain for livestock pasture.

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