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Sh700 million to expand Kapsabet milk cooling plant

The National Government has set aside Sh700 million to expand Kapsabet milk cooling plant into a milk processing plant complete with packaging to empower farmers and add value to their produce

Cabinet Secretary for Cooperatives and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Development Simon Chelugui said the plant will be significant in increasing milk production to achieve a target of 10 billion litres per year from the current 5.2 billion.

Chelugui urged farmers to take advantage of the good weather and invest in dairy production adding that Nandi has the potential to produce over 5,000 litres of milk per day.

“There is no other wealth than working right from household level. The government is working around the clock to revive the dairy sector to empower dairy farmers and improve milk production,” he said

Speaking at St. Peters Catholic church in Kapsabet town after Mass, Chelugui also revealed that the government has given New KCC Sh1.5 billion to help stabilise milk prices which had dropped to less than Sh35 per litre. He said the new minimum milk price will now be Sh45 per litre.

The CS said the funds will be used to mop up excess milk from farmers and convert the milk into long-life products to be stored in the Strategic Food Reserve.

He said the dairy sector is being strengthened because it offers a lifeline to most Kenyan farmers who depend on income from milk to take care of their families.

Chelugui who was accompanied by Tinderet Member of Parliament Julius Melly and Emgwen MP Josses Lelmengit appealed to farmers to also embark on coffee farming to increase the Country’s production from 51,000 tons per year to 200,000 tons.

He said Tinderet Sub County which has 7,000 acres under coffee is an ideal region for coffee production calling on farmers to embrace the crop owing to its huge economic potential.

The CS said the government has put in place strategies aimed at protecting the crop, cushioning the farmers from incurring losses and increasing the Country’s world market share.

“We have now established a team that will oversee reforms at Nairobi Coffee Exchange. My ministry is also going to work with county governments to ensure they employ field extension officers to educate farmers on modern ways of coffee farming to increase production,” he said.

Already the Nandi County government is constructing a multimillion-shilling coffee milling plant at Songhor Soba ward in Tinderet to increase productivity and boost farmers’ earnings through value addition.

Coffee farming in the region started back in the 1960s and Nandi was one of the leading producers of coffee in Kenya. Inconsistencies in coffee prices and exploitation by brokers largely played a role in reducing interest in the crop among growers.

By Linet Wafula

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