New KCC Kiganjo factory in Nyeri County has received new milk processing equipment worth 150 million shillings as the government continues with modernization process of its factories countrywide.
New KCC Managing Director Nixon Sigey said the modernization programme started three years ago in all milk processing factories in the country and so far Sh. 1 billion has been spent.
Sigey said the process has enhanced the production capacity of the factories and farmers earning has shot up from Sh.2.5 billion to Sh. 4.5 billion in one years’ time.
He said by the time the modernization process is complete, farmers’ payout will hit Sh. 6 billion annually.
He assured dairy farmers that the processor has the capacity to handle all the milk they are able to produce as well as do value addition using the state-of-the-art equipment they are installing in their factories.
The MD called on the youth to take up dairy farming as business venture to better their lives.
He said about two million household in the country are directly benefitting from the dairy sector adding that in the next one year, KCC plans to bring more diversification in terms of products from the factory
He however said the biggest challenge at hand was high cost of production that is hindering the sector in remaining competitive within the country and the region so that farmers can be assured of better returns.
Kieni MP Kanini Kega is the Parliamentary committee chairperson for Trade and Industrialization urged the government to reduce the cost of electricity that accounts for 50 per cent of production cost.
He at the same time said he will push for the processor to be allocated Sh. 500 million for the inclusion of milk in the national food strategic reserve alongside other foodstuffs such as maize, rice and beans.
This he said will curb wastage whenever there is a glut thus cushioning farmers from bearing the brunt of such an unforeseen happening.
“In the event of a milk glut, we want all the excess milk converted into powder to form part of the national food strategic reserve,” said Kega.