The government has scaled up modernization of the New KCC factories to offer quality services to farmers and satisfy customer needs for diversified products.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said to achieve that end, the government was installing new equipment that would earn farmers better returns and meet the increasing demands for varied products by customers.
Speaking at the New KCC Kiganjo factory in Nyeri County Friday, Munya said, “in order to serve the farmers better, we have to continue with the modernization process towards better equipment that would give out better and new range of products that are required by the consumers right now.”
Munya was at the factory to inspect the ongoing modernization and installation of new equipment as directed by President Uhuru Kenya to address dairy farmers’ challenges. It is supposed to be officially launched in December this year.
The CS expressed satisfaction with the works already done like installation of a pasturing machine with a capacity of processing 10,000 litres per hour in place of the old one that had a capacity of 5,000 litres.
Munya directed the management of the factory to hasten the modernization of the factory and to complete it by year end adding that Sh. 500 million had already been budgeted to finalize the process.
He at the same time said the government remained committed to address the woes facing small scale farmers and provide solutions for them to ensure they reaped optimal returns from their activities.
The CS told daily farmers that the government is considering initiating a credit scheme for them similar to the Advance Coffee Cherry Fund to enable them access cheap loans instead of turning to financial institutions where interest rates are exorbitant.
Munya asked the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and National Assembly Committee on Trade to look into the complaints raised by dairy farmers that they were buying substandard animal feeds from the market that compromised the quality and quantity of milk.
He directed the KEBS director Bernard Njiraini to crack the whip on lax surveillance officers who were not enforcing standards and letting substandard animal feeds into the market.
The CS hailed the New KCC management for involving farmers in the milk transportation business and hence maximizing their returns.
“Not only are they reaping from selling milk and milk products but are also benefiting from other services associated with milk. This will reduce the costs and increase returns to farmers,” Munya noted.
He added that the government has stabilized the prices of milk that he promised will not go down but will increase when opportunities arise.
Speaking during the same occasion, Kieni MP Kanini Kega said President Uhuru remained committed to help farmers across the country earn better returns and improve their livelihood and called on them to support him.
Kanini said in the 2020/21 Budget, a portion of Sh 500 million set aside for the modernization of New KCC Kiganjo factory would be used to buy excessive milk from farmers.
Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni, who also accompanied the CS urged Kenyans to support the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) adding that there are clauses in the 2010 Constitution that required amendments for the sake of prosperity.
By Mwangi Gaitha