Kenyans keen on purchasing long-life milk brands are struggling to access the products as they are missing from supermarket shelves.

Amid an existing milk shortage, it has emerged that milk processors prioritized supply of fresh milk to retailers, thus reducing the flow of long life milk products to a trickle.

The milk shortage has lasted for several weeks. The situation has driven up prices of the commodity across the country.

The Livestock Ministry noted that ongoing analysis of weather patterns would be used to determine whether or not the government opened the door to imports to stem the shortage.

“We are exploring importation of powder milk to help stabilize supplies and prices but we are waiting for an advisory from the meteorological department on rains this season,” said PS Kimtai.

The weatherman had reviewed  an earlier forecast released in February in which indicated that the long rains season, which usually starts in March would be good. In the review in April, they emphasized that the long rains would be poor.

The price of a 500ml packet of milk has gone up by Ksh5 across all major brands. Kenyans already feeling the pinch of the skyrocketing cost of living are the hardest hit.

Kenya has exhausted stocks of powder milk that are usually reconstituted into fresh milk during the dry season to supplement limited supplies coming in from dairy farmers. Excess milk is usually converted by processors into long-life products such as powder milk, which is stored in the strategic food reserve (SFR) for future use.

The ministry had in March recommended a one-month window for the importation of milk to counter the current shortage.

Sourced from Business today

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