The New Kenya Co-operative Creameries (KCC) has embarked on a plan to modernise its operations as it seeks to expand its business.
The New KCC Managing Director Mr Nixon Sigey said the firm is eyeing a share of the global market for its processed dairy products.
“The volumes of milk have increased from 5 billion to 5.4 billion litres in the country annually and we want to assure farmers of market for this bulk milk,” said Mr Sigey during a meeting with farmers form the North Rift region in Eldoret last week. The event was attended by New KCC board chairman, Mr Matu Wamae.
The state-owned company has begun exporting ghee, butter and other products to Tanzania, South Sudan and Malawi.
Mr Sigey disclosed that the Eldoret factory has recorded increase in milk supply from 150,000 litres a day to almost a half a million litres.
He said the company will acquire state-of-the-art equipment mid this year to process powder milk and other products that are on high demand in the market.
“The Sh400 million allocated by the government recently will be used to modernise equipment which will be launched by June this year. We want to replace old machines as we increase processing capacity,” said Mr Sigey.
He said the processor will create 400 jobs once modernisation of its operations is finalised.
During a tour of the North Rift region recently, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that the government had allocated Sh400 million for the expansion of the New KCC factory in Eldoret to promote dairy farming in the region.
He also said Sh500 million debt that the firm owed the government had been waived to enable the factory to run smoothly and pay farmers promptly.
“We want to encourage dairy farmers to produce more milk because we have three milk dryers in Eldoret, Kiganjo and Kitale town,” said the President.
Director of Livestock, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Julius Kiptarus said the national government would spend Sh1 billion this year through the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) for the country to adopt the embryo-technology to lower the cost of heifers in the country.
“Right now, the cost of heifers is very expensive but we want to lower this cost to between Sh50,000 and Sh80,000 through technology,” said Mr Kiptarus.
Uasin-Gishu County Governor Jackson Mandago has asked the national government to consider waiving the 16 per cent VAT levied on the raw materials used to make animal feeds in order to lower the cost of production.
“We want to ask the MPs as they prepare the budget this year to consider removing the tax charged on feeds so that the cost of production goes down,” said Mr Mandago.
Moiben MP Silas Tiren raised concerned over the influx of substandard animal feeds in the market. This, he said is a big impediment to the dairy industry.
“I want to ask the feeds manufacturers to show the farmers the ingredients (of these feeds). The Kenya Bureau of Standards should also check on these products because currently most of the agro-vets are stoked with low standard feeds,” said Mr Tiren.
He urged dairy farmers in the country to produce their own feeds.