The Kenya Dairy Farmers Federation has urged the government to review high levies on animal feeds to ensure easy accessibility by livestock farmers.
According to the Kenya dairy farmers federation chairperson Stanley Ngombe, the high levies charged on animal feeds, coupled with the delayed rains has occasioned milk shortage as many farmers could not afford to buy milk supplements for their stock.
He noted that milk production has gone down by almost 50 per cent occasioning rise in prices.
A spot check by KNA in leading outlets in Meru town revealed that a litre of raw milk retailed at sh75 up from Sh60.
Jason Munene, a milk vendor in Meru, noted that many of his suppliers from the farms are delivering less milk compared to a month ago.
“I could collect 100 litres from one farm previously however things have changed, the same farm now delivers on average 40 litres.
Munene attributes the sudden drop in milk production to prolonged drought and also recently increased levies on animal feeds.
“Milk prices have gone up as the supply is low and the demand for commodities is high,” he said.
A visit to leading outlets in Meru revealed that some supermarkets had completely run out of the commodity while others were only stocking long-life milk.
Retail shops and supermarkets are selling a 500ml packet of fresh Brookside milk for Sh80, up from Sh 60 a few days earlier.
The Tuzo brand goes for Sh70, up from Sh50 and Ilara Sh60 from Sh45. Long-life brands retail for Sh60, up from Sh48.
Janice Mwaari, a supermarket attendant, said that due to shortage of the precious commodity they had to put a limit on the number of packets a client could purchase at once.
“Here we are allowing customers to only pick two packets of milk so as to allow everyone access to the scarce commodity,” she said.
She said she was hopeful that the normal supply of milk will resume soon.
Joseph Waithaka, a resident of Meru said due to the increase in milk prices his family has shifted to taking porridge for breakfast.
“Prices of basic items have gone up, my salary is meager, and I have to meet daily needs for my family,” he said.
Catherine Njoki, a livestock farmer, pointed out that the cost of animal feeds has doubled.
Njoki noted that a 90 kilogrammes dairy feed is retailing at sh.3,100 in leading agrovet stores up from sh.1,900.