Big Relief For Dairy Farmers As County Sets Up Milk Coolers
Dairy farmers in Elgeyo Marakwet have a reason to smile following installation of 12 milk coolers with 30,000 litres capacity each.
The installation comes as a relief to dairy farmers who in the past have been forced to pour their milk in the event of oversupply leading to lost income.
Speaking when he oversaw the installation of the milk cooling plants across the county, Livestock and Cooperative Development Executive Member, Dr. Joseph Kiyeng noted that several farmers were slowing down on dairy production due to plummeting milk prices against the continued rise of cost of production.
“I know several of our farmers are almost abandoning dairy production owing to several challenges especially the cost of milk. With a cooler, we can negotiate with processors since we have a holding ground and our milk can now wait for a day or two to get into the market,” he said
The milk coolers which are expected to be fully operational by end of March will serve the farmers from Korkitony, Bugar, Kipchiloi, Kaptarakwa and Kapteren Cooperative Societies. Others are Kapsitotwa, Metkei, Kapsait FCS, Turesia and Kaptarakwa Farmers’ Cooperative Societies and Sergoit Ngeny Dairy Farmers. This is a joint venture between the National Government and the County Government to improve dairy production in the county.
Dr Kiyeng assured farmers of better milk prices adding that the department was already engaging the national milk processor, The New Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC) so that they could buy milk from the coolers.
Recently, the newly appointed Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya directed the KCC to start purchasing milk from farmers at Sh33 per litre, up from Sh27.
And in a move aimed at improving farmers’ fortunes and reducing the cost of production, Dr Kiyeng said the county would install a livestock feed formulation plant at Kabiemit, a silage making equipment in Sengwer, ensure continued vaccination of livestock and offer subsidized AI services to farmers.
He said the county’s vision towards adding value to the milk produce would facilitate all Cooperative Societies in the County sell their milk and get better returns.