Dairy farmers in the country can now breath a sigh of relief after President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the release of Sh500 million to the New KCC.
Making the announcement during his state of the nation address in Mombasa, the head of state that the money will aid in the purchase of excess milk from farmers which he said would then be converted into powdered milk for future use.
Further to this, the president also ordered the release of another Sh500 million to aid in the construction of two milk plants in Nyeri and Nyahururu.
“I have directed the National Treasury to release 500M to the new KCC to purchase excess milk from farmers and convert it to powder for further use,” communicated Uhuru.
As one way of ensuring that Kenyan farmers reap fully from their yields, the president also directed the Treasury to impose 16% VAT on all milk products being imported into the country from outside the East Africa Community, EAC.
“I have directed Treasury to impose 16% VAT on all milk products that have originated from outside the EAC. I have directed KEBS, Customs and the DCI to impound milk products that don’t meet Kenyan standards,” he added.
Uhuru said his intentions are to boost the milk industry with 1billion in the immediate run as a way of supporting the farmers’ efforts.
The president’s announcement comes just a few days after farmers in Kanjuiri, Nyandarua county poured out milk because of poor prices and lack of market.
A number of farmers had already stated that they were considering abandoning dairy farming because milk was no longer profitable.
In the months of October and November last year, milk prices drastically dropped by Sh10 from Sh35 to as low as Sh25 per litre.
Farmers predicaments seem to have gotten the attention of President Uhuru Kenyatta, who was forced to sack his Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri and instead replaced him with former Trade and Industrialization CS Peter Munya.