Dairy board suspends contentious milk bill

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The Kenya Dairy Board has suspended the proposed Milk Bill 2019 that has raised concerns with claims it will hurt farmers and small dealers but be advantageous to big processors.

Kenyans reacted angrily on social media over the draft that was expected to be tabled in the parliament for discussion. It proposes fine of Sh500, 000 and other punitive regulations.

It prohibits farmer from selling milk to hawkers, to deal with only one processor, be held criminally responsible for contaminants in milk even when such happened after they sell the product.

Kenya Dairy Board Managing Director Margaret Kibogy while announcing the suspension claimed there has been false impression on facts. She said the move was made to allow for consultations and further public participation.

Kenya Dairy Board statement today.

“Our attention has been drawn by the public concerns on the proposed draft dairy regulations 2019. It is noted that some comments made through various media outlets are misinterpretations of facts and intentions of the regulations” Kibogy said.

Earlier, the Kenyatta-owned Brookside Dairy that was allegedly to benefit more if the bill became an Act of Parliament also criticised the draft.

Brookside Chairperson Oliver Mary said there was no enough stakeholder consultation and if it is made into law and implemented would be the beginning of the death of the dairy industry.

“We have had time to review the new regulations proposed by the Kenya Dairy Board to regulate the industry and as a company we strongly feel that these regulations are ill-informed and would end up hurting the industry in its entirety from dairy farmers, processors to traders”. Mary said.

Brookside Dairy management has criticised the Milk Bill. [Photo: Courtesy]
She said the proposed introduction of 2 percent milk levy on the retail cost of milk to go to the Kenya Dairy Board, the annual license of Sh25, 000 for milk distributors, creation of independent milk inspectors whose roles are not clear, and outlawing of direct purchase of milk from individual farmers are punitive.

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