The drought situation is worsening by day. Dairy farmers are now grappling with low milk prices and reduce pastures leading to losses. The lack of natural pastures is forcing dairy farmers to supplement pasture with commercials feeds which are generally expensive due to the reduced rains.
In a bid to manage the situation, the Kenya Dairy Board (KDB) on Tuesday announced a plan to allow the importation of 200 million liters of milk. The milk will be imported mainly from Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda to bridge the production deficit. This was confirmed by KDB’s Managing Director Margaret Kibogy.
This is a situation that will definitely have a negative effect on the economy of Kenya. This will greatly affect dairy and livestock farmers who are already grappling with increased prices of feeds in the midst of continued drought.
Big 4 Agenda
Importation of milk is also seen as a blow to the President’s #Big4Agenda pillar of increasing food production to a level of exporting surplus. In addition, this affects the agenda on providing raw materials to food processing factories at the cottage and industrial level.
Advise to farmersE
Livestock farmers have been advised to consider reducing their stock while still in good health to avoid losses when they die. Dairy farmers on the other hand are advised to conserve as much of the fodder they have now in their far. Whether in for of silage or other methods, dairy farmers should keenly conserve the feeds.
Further more, dairy farmers are cautioned against increasing stock at the moment. This also applies to crop farmers. They are discouraged from planting again, lest they lose the seeds in the drought.
Farmers who use irrigation have been advised to investigate further and understand water levels. This is due to the fact that the limited rains will see rivers drying up. Getting water for farming from the rivers may eventually be stopped.