DAIRY farmers in Rift Valley want the government to pay the Sh1.2 billion owed to them by the New Kenya Co-operative Creameries. Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago says the debt has accrued over 17 years. “Two months ago, President Uhuru Kenyatta promised the money would be paid. We are asking that it is done as soon as possible,” he said. He spoke on Friday during a meeting with farmers and New KCC management at the latter’s Eldoret factory. Mandago said Sh2 billion should be paid to cover inflation. New KCC chief executive Nixon Sigei said the firm buys 500,000 litres from farmers per day. This is an increase from 150,000 litres per day. Sigei said the company pays more than Sh450 million to farmers every month.
“That means our farmers earn more than Sh1.4 billion from New KCC annually,” he said. Sigei said the company has started exporting its products to Tanzania. “We have just returned from Tanzania where we secured a market for our milk products and we are also exploring other countries for export,” he said. Sigei said the government has released Sh400 million to upgrade the New KCC factory. The factory will be able to produce powder milk, he said. Mandago said county governments have agreed to support farmers through cooperatives. “They are good because it is easier to deal with farmers through groups rather than as individuals,” he said.
Source: The Star