By Nation Africa
Milk processors have been protected from competition after the Kenya Dairy Board ordered the indefinite suspension of milk powder imports.
The regulator said rains are expected this month, an outcome that will significantly boost local milk production and reduce the need for imports.
“In anticipation of the long rains, the government has stopped the importation of milk powders to cushion the industry from surplus production and low producer prices,” the board’s Managing Director Margaret Kibogy wrote to milk powder importers in a letter dated March 6, 2023.
“Consequently, the board has temporarily suspended the issuance of these import permits until further notice.”
The regulator said it will continue to monitor the production and demand dynamics of the commodity before deciding when imports of milk powder can resume.
The move is seen as protecting processors and farmers from lower prices since the milk powder imports could lead to a glut in the market.
“We will make a decision [of lifting the ban or not] after the monitoring, this is to the benefit of the farmer,” Ms Kibogy told Business Daily.
The experienced long drought has resulted in the current high milk prices following the scarcity of the commodity.
The board has also suspended the issuance of import permits.