Women in the Mt Kenya region have been urged to take advantage of the operationalisation of a milk plant in Maragua, Murang'a County and invest in dairy farming in order to boost their economic growth.
Governor Mwangi Wa Iria’s wife, Jane Iria, said that women are key stakeholders in the dairy sector and there is a need for them to invest in more resources especially after the Murang'a Co-operative Creameries (MCC) started processing of milk.
Speaking at the MCC when she led a delegation of women leaders drawn from Mt Kenya region, Mrs Iria said her office will be partnering with the co-operative department to help women understand the value addition mechanisms and strategies to boost milk production.
"Women empowerment is the process of building a woman's capacity to be self-reliant and to develop her sense of inner strength and my office will partner with the co-operative department to ensure that women are not left behind in milk supply, especially during this period when the MCC is operational," she said.
Mrs Iria noted that women participate more in dairy and animal husbandry activities in addition to their daily household chores as compared to men.
"Women spend more time than men in dairy production activities and there is need to boost their efforts by convincing them to invest more to reap big," she said.
She lauded the Murang'a County government for the ongoing training of dairy farmers on how to improve their farming practices, saying the move forms a base for enhancing knowledge, improving skill and changing the attitude of rural women.
Water, Agriculture and Co-operative CEC Paul Macharia said the Murang’a milk plant is currently processing 20,000 litres per day.
He revealed that wholesale and retail sellers have been visiting the plant to buy milk.
"We are processing 20,000 litres per day and we hope to increase to 60,000 by next month and we have been motivated by the ever increasing demand for milk in the market," he said.
Last week, Governor Wa Iria hinted that MCC shares will be sold to dairy farmers to prevent political interference in future.