A Sh300 million plant built by dairy farmers in Kangema, Murang’a County will start its operations by the end of this year, promising higher earnings.
The over 5,000 dairy farmers have avoided bank loans, opting to contribute money from their own savings to venture into milk processing.
Once fully operational, the Kangema plant is expected to process 20,000 litres of milk per hour.
The farmers, who have registered a society by the name Kangema Unity Investment Cooperative, have also bought a 400-acre piece of land in Laikipia on which they plan to grow hay to be distributed to its members to complement the dairy farming.
The cooperative’s chairman John Mugo said farmers decided to venture into the dairy sector to increase their earnings adding the facility will be operational by December and will be processing milk and making yoghurt and cheese.
“We bought a 400-acre piece of land in Laikipia on which we will be growing hay to distribute to our farmers at a subsidised cost. They will also receive dividends from the sale of the milk and its products,” he said.
Mr Mugo added that the farmers have procured a cooler which can hold 10,000 litres of milk and that they intend to buy more coolers for distribution to farmers.
Former Kangema MP Tirus Ngahu, who is the patron of the initiative, said they started the project in order to uplift the lives of dairy farmers who have continued to receive meagre payments for their produce for a long time. Mr Ngahu said collection centres will be established in Muguru, Kanyenya-ini and Rwathia wards to coordinate transportation of milk to the plant.