A section of smallholder dairy farmers representatives is calling upon new Agriculture Cabinet Secretary, Peter Munya to streamline key reforms in the dairy sector so as to grow the sector.
Among the key reforms that Dairy Stakeholder Consortium want to be reviewed are the existing and upcoming laws.
They include – the recently advocated Livestock Bill 2019 which will increase the tax burden on Kenyan dairy industry, a fresh national and well-advertised public participation should be done before the national validation.
According to the dairy consortium, the Dairy Industry Act Cap 336 has many loopholes that if not addressed will not ensure better products, secured market and better-managed dairy sector.
“We are thankful to His Excellency, Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta for his vision, firstly for including co-operatives into the Ministry of Agriculture this will help improve product marketing and for funding New KCC to buy excess milk. We look forward to a clear roadmap, proper plan and accountability from our Cabinet Secretary, Peter Munya on how it will trickle down to the grass-roots,” noted Henry Otsyula, Investment Chairman, Kenya Dairy Farmers Federation.
On his part, Elisha Bwatuti, Executive Secretary, Brilliant Dairy Farmers Association noted: “Traders incur heavy taxation on dairy products originating from outside East African Community which leaves them with the option of getting them into the country illegally. The taxes imposed by Kenya Revenue Authority are Import duty – 60%, VAT – 16%, IDF – 3%, Standard Gauge Railway levy – 2.5%. Kenya Dairy Board taxes are importing levy – 7%, and Cess – 20 cents per litre.”
The consortium is calling upon the new CS to put in place stringent measures such as special testing equipment that can properly determine the origin of milk products.
The Dairy Stakeholder Consortium will soon be forwarding a petition to the CS Munya for consideration.
It will contain suggestions of sustainable solutions in the dairy industry including a reduction in cost of production through national fodder project among others.