Although it will come as good news for livestock farmers, the directive by Agriculture minister Peter Munya that the New KCC must pay farmers a minimum of Sh33 per litre of milk is likely to further strain the struggling parastatal.
To ensure that the farmers benefit from the order, it will be necessary for the government to ensure the agency is either sufficiently funded or fully privatised so as to improve its efficiency.
Just like farmers, the agency is facing increasing competition from imports coming through Uganda, and because of the tariff concessions between the two nations, the imports have ended up being cheaper than milk produced in Kenya. To tackle this challenge, which poses a greater threat to the future of the milk market, it will be necessary to ensure that the milk imports coming through Uganda pay duty at the points of entry.
In the same vein, measures must be put in place to reduce the cost of inputs in livestock farming, by among others, reviewing taxes charged on companies involved in such activities as feed processing and easing their cost of doing business by reviewing the cost of electricity and diesel.
In all, there is a lot more that needs to be done to sustainably revive the sector. A mere directive is, therefore, unlikely to achieve much unless it is backed by a series of tangible policy measures.