Kenya is considering putting import duties on dairy and egg products in order to cushion local farmers from foreign competition, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
Peter Munya, cabinet secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives told journalists in Nairobi that the import levies are contained in regulations that will soon be gazetted into law.
“We need to take care of our farmers from products coming from outside the country,” Munya said during the Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCO) regulations forum.
According to the ministry of agriculture, Kenya is facing competition from agricultural products coming from the East African Community (EAC) bloc which has a liberalized trade regime.
Munya observed that the aim of the laws is to control imports coming into the country and not to ban the goods from accessing the Kenya market.
He noted that the country has been relying on ad hoc measures to control the influx of goods into Kenya but the regulations will provide predictable measures to guide the application of import duties.
He revealed that other countries in the EAC trading bloc also impose tariffs on Kenya goods.
“There is the principle of reciprocity on import duties that Kenya will use to bring balance in the agriculture sector,” he noted.
The proposed regulations also require the government to set a minimum price for dairy products from farmers in order to ensure that their livelihoods are sustainable.
“We will conduct a study every six months in order to determine the optimum price,” Munya added. Enditem