KENYA – The Cabinet, the highest decision-making organ in Kenya’s government, has agreed to waive import taxes on animal feeds inputs in an effort to boost the country’s dairy and livestock industries.

According to President William Ruto, Kenya has the potential of growing its own animal feeds inputs and reduce reliance on imports especially protein inputs which are also used in cooking oil production.

He noted that the animal sector have for quite some time been under minimum maintenance due to scarcity of quality feeds and unusually high prices.

“I may be domiciled in the energy sector, but I am also a dairy farmer qualified enough to confirm that the Cabinet decision made this week costs a boost to the country’s dairy sector,” he said.

“Assisted by good rains and reasonably priced fertilizers, I can confirm that I have trebled maize silage production on my farm, which is a great plus for milk yields.”

Earlier action by the government to subsidies fertilizer costs is also aimed to strengthen the animal feeds industry mostly on account of increased production of maize which is the main fraction in animal feeds formulation.

“Once Kenya strategizes to be self-sufficient in maize and oil crops, it should be prepared to modify EAC trade protocols to protect local produce against unfair imports from the region, including milk,” Ruto highlighted.

International Livestock Research Institute Dairy is a big opportunity in Kenya. Kenya’s cows produce over 3.5 billion litres of milk a year.

Kenyans consume more milk than people in any other country in Africa, and the demand for dairy products is on the rise. By 2030, Kenya is likely to become a net dairy exporter.

In the past months the government has taken the initiative of bolstering country’s milk production by boosting and supporting farmers to increase their individual yields.

Last month the government committed to provide 20 coolers to dairy co-operative societies in Murang’a county, in a similar bid to support the dairy sector and boost dairy production.

According to the President, once delivered the coolers will promote value addition by assisting the farmers to preserve their milk more and reduce their losses while also boosting their returns.

This comes after dairy farmers have entered into a beneficial program funded by the USAID which is running in 12 counties to see farmers doubling their milk production capacities.

According to Kenya Crops and Dairy Market Systems (KCDMS), Chief of Party (CoP) Dr. Robert Mwandime, farmers are determined to bridge the gap in production and called for support from the national and county governments to make the country’s milk sufficient.

“The demand for milk in the country is high and through these interventions, we are now producing about 60–70% of the milk consumed in the country,” he said.

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