President William Ruto has given the Ministry of Agriculture a two-week deadline to develop strategies aimed at enhancing competitiveness in the Kenyan milk sector.

The objective is to enable Kenya to effectively access the continental market while expanding the sale of dairy products to other African nations.

Dr Ruto has instructed Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi to convene a meeting with dairy processors to devise a comprehensive plan for fostering a competitive milk industry.

He emphasized the need for a 10-point implementation plan with specific timelines.

I want you (minister) to sit down with the processors because I want a 10-point implementation plan with a timeline on what is to be done and when,” said President Ruto.

The president said the meeting’s discussions should encompass various measures, including potential tax incentives to address the challenges within the dairy sector.

CS Mithika Linturi (Photo: Courtesy of Ministry of Agriculture)
CS Mithika Linturi (Photo: Image: courtesy.

President Ruto reckoned that the government had previously removed taxes on tea packaging materials and might consider doing the same for milk packaging materials to benefit farmers and promote profitability.

The president also wants the CS to discuss with processors how they can help the government to lower the cost of feeds.

This involves strategies for bulk feed production and ensuring that incentives, such as the removal of duties on yellow maize, ultimately benefit farmers rather than just feed manufacturers.

President Ruto expressed his commitment to invest in the dairy sector, recognizing its potential to boost the country’s income, facilitate exports, and create employment opportunities for young people throughout the dairy value chain.

“I am willing to invest public resources because this is a big sector if it ultimately gives us a competitive sector that not only increases our income as a country but also promotes our exports and gives opportunity for young people to work in this industry and the whole value chain around dairy,”  he said.

The President announced that a final meeting with stakeholders to conclude and approve the discussed measures will be held in two weeks.

These statements were made by President Ruto during a meeting in Nakuru on Wednesday, which brought together dairy processors from both Kenya and Uganda.

A representative from Lato, a Uganda-based processor, highlighted that Ugandans consume more flavored milk than Kenyans, citing the absence of taxation on this product as a contributing factor. In contrast, flavored milk in Kenya carries a 16 percent duty.