Kenya on Thursday raised alarm over consumption of raw milk that could expose the population to infectious diseases.
Margaret Kibogy, Managing Director of the Kenya Dairy Board (KDB), said in a statement that sourcing of raw milk by consumers from informal traders is discouraged as such milk has not been subjected to adequate testing to determine quality and safety.
“The milk is not processed and thus a potential source of zoonotic and food borne diseases such as brucellosis, tuberculosis and typhoid,” said Kibogy.
She said the informal milk marketing sector remains a challenge in complying with quality and safety requirements and standards.
Kibogy reassured consumers that the government has over the years put in place effective measures to control the quality and safety of milk products in the market.
Government data indicates that the dairy industry provides livelihoods to an estimated 1.8 million smallholder dairy farmers in Kenya.
In addition, Kibogy said the dairy sector contributes an estimated 12 percent to the agricultural gross domestic product (GDP) and 4 percent of the national GDP and creates employment directly for 750,000 people and 500,000 indirectly.
The milk regulator said production of and demand for milk products in Kenya have surged due to growth in population, increasing urbanization and the growing middle class.
Kibogy said the formal milk marketing sector that undertakes processing and value addition of milk has been growing at an average of 7 percent annually.
“This growth is as a result of increasing demand for high-quality and safe value-added dairy products,” she added.
KDB noted that milk quality surveillance using accredited laboratories has shown that the compliance level for the formally marketed milk is high. Enditem