KENYA – Dairy farmers in Murang’a County have expressed their support for the decision made by the county government to transfer the management of a milk processing factory to the Murang’a Cooperative Creameries Union (MCCU).

This move has ignited hopes of revival for the facility, which was closed in mid-last year due to financial woes.

The milk factory, situated in Maragua, was initially established during the tenure of former Governor Mwangi wa Iria in 2017 and has the potential to process thousands of liters of milk daily.

However, under the administration of Irungu Kang’ata, the factory was shut down, citing operational losses and pending bills amounting to approximately Sh. 400 million.

Earlier this year, the county executive, in a pivotal meeting, resolved to breathe new life into the factory by transferring its management to MCCU.

The county government’s rationale behind this decision is that the factory was originally owned by the county government, and MCCU is now fully owned by Murang’a milk farmers.

During the public participation forums held on Friday, dairy farmers voiced their optimism about MCCU’s ability to revive the factory and enhance the value of their milk, ultimately leading to increased returns.

Kimani Mugo, the county executive member for Cooperatives and Trade, highlighted MCCU’s stability and solvency, emphasizing that its management structure differs from the county government.

MCCU, boasting more than 10,000 dairy farmers, stands as the largest milk aggregator in the county.

The county government has also allocated Sh. 40 million towards the revival of the factory, underscoring that its assets far outweigh its liabilities.

“We eagerly anticipate the successful revival of the factory so that our dairy farmers can earn more income after their milk undergoes value addition,” Mr Mugo said.

He urged farmers to register with cooperatives, emphasizing that it’s the only way to benefit from the subsidy program introduced at the beginning of the year.

James Karanja, the Kamahuha MCA and chairperson of the county assembly’s committee for trade and cooperatives hailed the decision to entrust the factory’s management to MCCU.

He noted that there are currently about 4,400 active dairy farmers in Murang’a, and the factory’s revival would open up opportunities for them to market their milk.

“The county assembly has given the nod to have the milk factory transferred to MCCU and agreed to offer Sh. 40 million for the revival of the factory. We hope this will be a big boost to dairy farming in the county,” he added.

Fredrick Njuguna, Chairman of Kamahuha Dairy Cooperative Society, also assured that the farmers have the capacity to run the factory successfully.

He emphasized that the key to its smooth operation lies in increasing milk production to meet the factory’s demands.

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