By John Majau
The government will soon conduct a census of dairy farmers and their livestock in the country for better planning.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said the collection of data which the ministry will undertake in collaboration with the county governments will help in mainstreaming the dairy sub sector.
Speaking at a local FM station, CS Munya said the registration will enable the government understand how to do pricing for dairy products, meet demand and address livestock diseases.
“We will register all the dairy farmers and their livestock so that we can understand their numbers because we want to understand how much milk they are producing and the prices they are fetching,” said Munya.
The CS said the county governments will be tasked with registering the dairy farmers and livestock at no cost.
“Registration will be done by county governments, who will in turn hand over the data to the Kenya Dairy Board as the regulator,” he said.
“This data will be used in the government’s plan for dairy farmers. We want to understand dairy production, supply and where the farmers are,” said Munya.
He said the registration of farmers will help the government know the source of milk, which will aid in traceability.
The CS said processors will undergo an inspection of their facilities to ensure safety of all dairy products after submiting monthly reports on how much milk they buy.
Munya said that the government will review milk prices after every six months to ensure dairy farmers are not exploited, adding that the new dairy regulations were aimed at ensuring dairy farmers profit from their ventures.
He said the government had set minimum prices that buyers will pay dairy farmers in order to offset production costs and earn a profit.
“We have eight new regulations to protect dairy farmers and ensure minimum guaranteed price because we are keen to protect farmers who suffered losses when there is a glut in the market,” said Munya.
He said the government had set the price of milk and a litre must not go below Sh33 even when there is a glut.