Keeping Your Business in Mind

Dairy Industry Sustainability Roadmap, Bill 2023 Set To Revolutionize Sector

Charged with the responsibility of providing for the improvement and control of the dairy industry and its products, the Kenya Dairy Board continues to enhance quality to achieve sustainability in the dairy industry. The regulator has indicated its commitment to protect consumers, enhance private sector participation, boost investment in the dairy industry and promote trade in milk and milk products by ensuring a strong dairy regulatory framework at international, national and county levels to ensure milk and milk products comply with quality and safety requirements. Established in 1958, the Kenya Dairy Board’s role has continued to evolve in line with the changing policies and dynamics as well as digitization and technological advancements coupled with devolution as a key enabler of its operations. Ker Mogallo reports.

The government of Kenya through the Kenya Dairy Board (KDB) has launched the Kenya Dairy Industry Sustainability Roadmap 2023 – 2032, in a bid to upsurge dairy farmer’s income.

The 10 year road map, according to the Agriculture and Livestock Development Cabinet Secretary Hon. Mithika Linturi will double milk production from the current five billion litres to 10 billion litres per year, grow exports of dairy produce to one billion litres, increase the percentage of formally marketed milk from 30% to 50% and increase the revenue of small-scale dairy farmers to Sh.56,000 per month. These are the objectives which have been set up by the Kenya Kwanza Government through the BETA economic model.

“Kenya has an estimated dairy herd population of 5.1 million and over two million smallholder dairy farmers with an estimated annual production of 5.2 billion litres of milk valued at over Ksh.230 billion,” said CS Linturi.

He added that the productivity of Kenya’s large dairy herd, currently at below seven litres per day is low by global standards and it will be easier to increase milk production in the country by doubling the production per cow, as compared to increasing the dairy herd numbers.

The CS further insisted on providing better feeds, veterinary services, clean and healthy environment to increase milk production noting that the potential of the industry had not been fully realised due to low productivity, high cost of production and inefficiencies within the sector.

“The ten year Kenya Dairy Industry Sustainability Roadmap report which we are launching today is a framework of collective responsibility by the industry stakeholders aimed at catalyzing and accelerating industry wide transition to a more sustainable, competitive and low carbon footing industry,” said Mr. Genesio Mugo, the Kenya Dairy Board Chairman during the launch of the sustainability roadmap.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions…
According to CS Mithika Linturi, the government is looking at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the dairy industry by 0.4 Metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent by the year 2030 as outlined in the National Climate Change Action Plan of 2018 – 2022.

“The State Department of Livestock in partnership with Kenya Dairy Board, UN, FAO, and IFAD are currently developing a project proposal on “Pathways to Dairy Net Zero” (PADNET). The proposal seeks to transition the dairy industry to lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions and adapt more climate resilient dairy systems.” Noted CS Linturi at the launch of the sustainability roadmap.

Impact of the roadmap…
The roadmap will empower the sector to adapt modern technology and climate-smart approaches to competitively produce, process and market an additional 2.5 billion litres of quality milk per year to meet the growing demand for the commodity.

Kenya Dairy Board Managing Director Ms Margaret Kibogy speaking at the event said that the roadmap seeks to raise milk production from 10 litres to 20 litres per lactating cow per day for a micro-commercial farm.

The roadmap, which was developed with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) heralds modern farming, efficient manufacturing, cutting-edge research and development, increased finance and enhanced trade opportunities with wider implications for rural transformation.

Ms Kibogy added that the roadmap will ensure that at least 80 percent of marketed milk output goes through the cold chain, while at the same time ensuring that at least 60 percent of marketed milk is formally processed.

“The plan is to lower the retail price of packaged whole milk by at least 20 percent from the high prices experienced at the beginning of 2023,” noted the KDB MD.

The roadmap also seeks to provide on-farm coolers to farmers producing over 50 litres of milk per day and who are not within walking distance of a collective cooling facility.

Already, the government has distributed over 300 coolers to the grassroots and is in the process of importing an additional 650 coolers to counter harvest losses. This will ensure Kenya exports 1 billion litres every year within the next five years.

The Dairy Industry Bill 2023…
Commenting on the Draft Dairy Industry Bill 2023, which is currently undergoing public participation, Kenya Dairy Board Managing Director Ms Margaret Kibogy called for the alignment of the dairy regulations to international standards for agricultural trade arrangements as enshrined under World Trade Organization, ratified in the year 1995.
The proposed law aims to expand productivity and competitiveness of dairy products, escalate domestic consumption of milk and milk products, transform the dairy industry into a net exporter to the regional and global markets, and re-orient milk processing.

According to the Kenya Dairy Board Chairman, the review of the Act was occasioned by the fact that the current legislation regulating the dairy subsector enacted in 1958 was not in harmony with modern farming practices and technological advancements and recognized cow milk only. The Draft Dairy Industry Bill, 2023 now also gives recognition to sheep, goat and camel milk which are widely consumed in the country and beyond.

Milk which is primarily produced by smallholder dairy farmers under three main production systems of zero grazing, semi-zero grazing, and open grazing is in high demand mainly due to population growth, increased urbanization, and rising incomes.

While the sector employs over a million persons directly ranging from farm managers, feeders, milkers, lab technicians as well as nutritionists and dieticians, the push for the proposed bill, is also geared towards encouraging locals to venture into commercial dairy farming which will in turn generate an additional 1 million jobs for Kenyans within our borders and spur economic growth in the grassroots.

The bill seeks to establish a legal backing for the dairy value-addition chain, and will also give way to the establishment of a corporation to coordinate activities in the sector. The government has thus prioritised the industry in national strategic plans such as the Dairy Master Plan to guide the development of the dairy sector up to the year 2030.

If Passed into law…
If the proposed bill is passed into law, it will address microbiological contamination of milk, allowable veterinary drug residues, permitted food additives and packaging requirements. Without adequate controls, milk and milk products can be a source of microorganisms which cause serious diseases such as brucellosis, tuberculosis and cholera.

“There is need to safeguard food safety and promote quality assurance to consumers here and beyond our borders. It is with this in mind that the Bill was drafted with the objective of strengthening the dairy regulatory framework for the benefit of dairy business operators, consumers, and the public at large.” Noted the KDB MD.

The KDB boss further explained that the sanitary and phytosanitary standards agreement relate to regulations around labeling requirements, nutrition claims and concerns, quality and packaging regulations.

The industry has shown resilience and is steadily expanding given that more people, especially young Kenyans, are taking up dairy farming with the industry projected to be growing at an estimated rate of five per cent annually with milk production currently at 5.2 billion litres a year. It is also estimated that about 1.8 million smallholder farmers have their livelihoods pegged on dairy production.

Currently, Kenya’s dairy sector contributes 4pc, 12pc and 44pc of the national, agriculture and livestock GDP’s respectively. It is projected that with the proposed Bill becoming law, the numbers will double or even triple within the next five years.

According to the 2020 Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Food Balance Sheet report, the consumption of milk and its related products had the highest per capita consumption (93.3 kilos) in Kenya, followed by maize (69.5kg), wheat (41.3kg) and vegetables (32.6kg)

State of the art laboratory and offices…
In the past, the lack of adequate machinery to test and preserve milk led to an increase in milk hawking that contributed to adulterated milk. Now, thanks to technological developments in the country, milk handling technologies have been launched across the country to boost preservation and bulking of milk in a bid to boost farmers’ profits.

The Kenya Dairy Board has constructed and equipped a stateof the art laboratory in Kabete which will greatly enhance milk testing, quality and safety of dairy produce.

At the same time, Kenya Dairy Board has moved its headquarters to Loresho Estate in Upper Kabete. The new offices, as well as the lab are now within the same complex further pushing the drive and efficiency of services.

Currently, in addition to the new offices, Kenya Dairy Board has established an additional 27 branches across the country to enhance service delivery. The Board, according to officials, aims to eventually have presence in all the 47 counties.


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