State injects Sh1.5b in New KCC to stabilise milk prices

The government has allocated Sh1.5 billion to New Kenya Cooperatives Creameries (KCC) to help stabilize milk prices and protect farmers from poor earnings.

Through the Ministry of Cooperatives and Macro and Smallholder Enterprises (MSMEs), the funds will help regulate market prices and revitalize the dairy sector in the country.

Speaking in Nandi county during a church function over the weekend, Cooperatives and MSMEs Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui said New KCC will buy milk from farmers at a minimum price of Sh45 per liter, to curb exploitation by middlemen and other players in the sector.

Chelugui announced that the first disbursement of Sh500 million will be done before the end of December and appealed to farmers to continue supplying milk to New KCC collection centers across the country.

"We seek to protect dairy farming like any other businesses in the country. The minimum price of buying milk is fair and enables farmers to earn good returns despite the high cost of operation," he said.

He regretted that unscrupulous traders have ruined the dairy sector prompting many people to abandon dairy farming, which has subsequently, led to a significant drop in milk production in the country.

"We have local and international markets for our agricultural produce and the county and national government is deliberately working with farmers' cooperative societies to scale up milk production," said CS Chelugui.

Chelugui said that the government has secured market for Kenyan milk in the Middle East.

He promised that more milk cooling facilities will be established in Nandi, Baringo, Kericho, and Runyenjes.

"Lack of storage facilities is among the challenges that have hindered the production of quality and sufficient milk in Kenya. And we are working with the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that we have the capacity of milk that meet the internal demand," he said.

Chelugui further said that farmers will access stimulus funds through cooperative societies to boost animal and crop production.