Promoting Food Safety and Loss Reduction in the Dairy Sector in Kenya to Enhance Consumer Welfare
Milk forms an important part of the diets of majority of people in East Africa with a major contribution to the national food security, income generation, and rural development. Kenya is listed among the leading producers and consumers of dairy products in Africa. The dairy industry has a production capacity 5.2 billion liters of milk per annum, with cattle accounting for nearly 90 per cent of the output (MoALF, 2013). Milk processing is undertaken by nearly 30 processors who produce a variety of products that include long life milk, milk powder, butter, cheese, and fermented milk. The dairy sector contributes significantly to the livelihoods of the people engaged along the value chain. The sector accounts for 14 per cent of agricultural GDP and 4 per cent of national GDP. The sector is dominated by smallholder production which accounts for about 70 per cent of the total annual milk production in the country (MoALF, 2013). Although the per capita milk consumption in the country of about 100 kilograms per year is the best in Africa, it is still far from meeting the global target consumption rate of 220 kilograms per capita (MoALF, 2013). Thus, increasing production and access to safe milk products is central to ensuring food security in Kenya.
PROJECT GOAL AND OBJECTIVES
The overall goal is to enhance consumer welfare in the dairy sector and to improve safety and reduction in milk losses. This is to be realised through evidence based policy advocacy action, capacity building and lobbying for policy and practice change in the dairy sector in a bid to spur actions leading to adoption of inclusive policies, regulations and programs for milk safety and Loss, and improvement in the coordination and implementation of milk safety and loss policies by government for increased market access and investments within the dairy industry in Kenya.
The role of CUTS Nairobi under the Consortium dubbed Consumer Voices for Change will involve Evidence generation for policy advocacy on food safety and food losses with the focus on the Kenya Dairy Sector. It will also be involved in the dissemination of information and awareness generation as it relate to issues affecting the dairy sector in kenya. These roles will be realised through engagement on both desk review of the existing literature and discussions with key sector players to understand the reality on the gound before documenting and recommending policy interventions to address the identified issues. CUTS will involve in the mapping out of stakeholders and players in the sub-sector from producers, consumers, policy makers both at national and county level as well as consumer lobby groups and standard departments. CUTS will engage in their mobilisation through forums, meetings both at national and county level to discuss on the emerging issues in the dairy sector in relation to food safety and losses in the dairy sector. It will participate in the capacity enhancement activities with of other CSOs under the program on use of evidence and data through research and availing knowledge through dissemination via online platforms. While drawing on leanings from the study, CUTS will involve itself in organizing workshops and consultations at various levels with key stakeholders in the dairy sector thereby acting as a platform for knowledge sharing and networking and national cooperation. It will engage in continued policy dialogues with Member of Parliaments and County Assemblies, involving them in the project while raising their awareness and capacity on the key findings on food safety and losses and the necessary policy options to address the emerging issues. For a wider and effective dissemination of the emerging issues, best practices and policy options in the dairy sector, CUTS will package its information in the form of a policy brief and engage both traditional and online social media to disseminate the finding and to raise awareness on food safety and food losses and demand for better policies to tackle the challenges in the kenya dairy sector. CUTS will collaborate with other CSOs under the Consumer Voice for Change in the development and implementation of advocacy plan under the program. It will disseminate learning and findings with other partner organizations and undertake capacity building/awareness creation of stakeholders on safety and losses in dairy sector.
It is expected that regular generation of knowledge (research) on emerging issues of milk safety and losses and best practices, participation in and contribution to relevant processes for policy development, implementation and reporting will lead to awareness among the different stakeholders involved in the dairy sector.
Engagement in awareness campaigns at the county level based on the emerging evidence/ research will drive consumers to demand for safe milk and held those in power accountable.
The Kenya Dairy Consumer online Platform for reporting and addressing emerging consumer issues relating safety and losses will channel information to all the stakeholders and get recommendations for addressing milk safety and milk loss through the project webpage which will be disseminated widely for general public information. CUTS will convey the advocacy messages through bilateral meetings/ lobbying with policy makers, value chain actors and media (social, print and traditional media) to convey key messages and to build demand for policy and practice change.