The price of milk has gone up for the second time in two weeks leading to panic buying in retail outlets as uncertainty looms in the dairy sector.
The price of a 500ml packet has now gone up by a further Sh3 across all the brands, subjecting consumers to more pain at a time when they are grappling with an increase in the cost of other basic commodities such as fuel.
The rise in prices comes as a blow to consumers given that retailers had already reviewed prices of the commodity by up to Sh 5 early for a 500ml packet last month. Consequently, the price of other high-value products such as butter (500 grammes) and cheese (250 grammes) have also increased by Sh 26 and Sh 5 respectively.
Kenya Dairy Board attributed the current situation to the ongoing drought in most parts of the country.
The regulator said poor rains in the last quarter of 2021 and a drought condition in the quarter that ended March have had a negative impact on production at the farm level.
Processors are grappling with a decline in supply that has forced them to operate below installed capacity as the ongoing drought in milk-producing zones take a toll on quantities.
The situation is expected worsen as processors do not have stocks of powdered milk, which they normally reconstitute into fresh when there is a shortage in the country in order to tame high prices.