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Govt imports 9,000 tones of milk after drought cuts production by half

The high cost of milk has caused an outcry among consumers/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 8 – The prolonged drought that began in December 2016 has reduced milk production by 50 percent.

Kenya Dairy Board Managing Director Margaret Rugut says the country produces 5.2 billion liters per year but the drought has affected the supply.

“This has made the government turn to the importation of 9,000 metric tonnes of milk. We are however hoping that with the ongoing rains, supply will be stabilized in the next three months,” Rugut said.

Acknowledging that milk production in Kenya is weather driven, Rugut says the government, which includes the county government and partners are training farmers on how to maximize on available animal feeds.

Her sentiments come at a time when milk prices have been soaring high with the national strategic milk powder reserve depleted.

By early May, most milk brands had pushed the price of milk to Sh60 for a half litre packet. However, with the ongoing rains and the revival happening in the sector, some brands have reduced their prices.

However, the onset of the rains is seeing some brands reducing their prices.

Rugut was speaking during the re-launch of Delamere where it announced plans to double sales by the end of 2017 and increase the current market share in the fruit yoghurt segment.

Delamere Marketing Manager Oliver Mary says the dairy company plans to cut prices to gain market share.

“We are introducing new flavors in the market which includes caramel, pear and lemon biscuit. Prior to the re-launch, we did a market survey that revealed our yoghurt was too expensive. We have therefore revised our prices and will be starting from Sh40 for the 100 ml pack,” Mary said.

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