According to the producers' federation, a massive entry of American dairy products on the local market could destabilize the sector.
In Kenya, the dairy industry fears the consequences for its growth of the comprehensive free trade agreement currently being discussed between the executive and the US authorities.
This agreement, which negotiations formally started last July, could lead to duty-free access for US goods to the Kenyan market as well as a reduction in tariff barriers for certain products.
For actors in the dairy sector who currently benefit from 10% internal tariff protection against imports in addition to the 60% Common External Tariff (CET) imposed by the East African Community (ECA), the prospect of liberalization remains. of particular concern.
According to the National Federation of Dairy Producers, a massive influx of American dairy products could drastically lower domestic prices and destabilize an industry that is still growing.
“Kenya produces enough Milk for local consumption and has an exportable surplus. He doesn’t need milk from other countries, “said Gideon Birgen, executive director of the association.
This intervention by actors in the sector comes after the American Dairy Farmers Interest Group (lDFA) recently urged Robert Lighthizer, the Trade Representative (USTR) to put pressure on Kenya for a drop in tariffs striking imports in order to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the country.
And for good reason, Kenya is the main consumer of milk on the continent with a per capita volume of 120 liters per year, i.e. three times the African average (37 liters) and a level well above the global average volume (104 liters). ) according to UNCTAD data.
As a reminder, the Kenyan dairy industry is one of the most dynamic in Africa. It also provides the means of subsistence to nearly 2 million rural households.
Source Ecofin Agency