Kenya eyes free trade pact to expand dairy market in Africa

Kenya Dairy Board MD Margaret Kibogy. FILE PHOTO | NMG

What you need to know:

  • Several West African countries have made inquiries about Kenya’s long-life dairy products.

The Department of Livestock wants to expand the share of Kenya’s dairy products in the African market with an eye on West Africa following the advent of the continental free trade area.

Livestock PS Harry Kimutai says a number of countries in West Africa have already made inquiries about Kenya’s long-life dairy products.

African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will allow movement of good from one country to another.

Mr Kimutai said Kenya would also witness an increase in dairy goods from other nations, noting the country needs to address the high cost of production to remain competitive in the market.

“We are eying to expand our market to other regions and we are starting with West Africa that has already expressed interest in our milk products, especially the powdered milk,” he said.

The West African countries that have shown interest include Liberia and Nigeria, with officials from Monrovia recently visiting the country.

The African free trade pact came into effect at the end of last month after two more countries ratified the agreement.

Kenya Dairy Board managing director Margaret Kibogy says Nairobi is seeking to lower of the cost of production from the current Sh25 per litre to Sh15 in order to remain competitive in the wake of the free trade area.

“AfCFTA is a good initiative that will open up the market for Kenya and other African countries. However, it might not augur well with our high cost of production; that is why we want to address the overheads to an acceptable level that will make us competitive in the market,” she said.