The push to give US dairy farmers unrestricted access into the Kenyan market has attracted opposition from their Kenyan counterparts.
In the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between Kenya and the US, American dairy farmers are seeking to have tariffs imposed on milk exports to the Kenyan market reduced or scrapped.
But Kenyan farmers through the Kenya Dairy Farmers Federation have warned such a move could lead to a possible collapse of milk prices since the country produces enough for local consumption and has a surplus for export.
"Kenya Dairy Farmers Federation encourages business partnerships, but if this is assented to, milk prices will reduce drastically hence destabilizing the industry,” the federation’s CEO Gideon Birgen told Business Daily.
Kenyan farmers were reacting to a letter by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), a lobby for US dairy farmers, to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who is leading the US team in the trade talks with Kenya. In the letter, the lobby argues that Kenya’s restriction on milk imports limits US dairy’s ability to enter the Kenyan market.