One of the 35 cooling plant installed in Murang’a County for milk processing. Farmers delivering milk to Murang’a County Creamaries have been earning a stable price of Sh35 per litre of milk with hope of improvement. Photo courtecy.
Murang’a County dairy farmers have for four years now been enjoying a constant price of Sh35 per litre of milk they deliver to the county milk processing plant with assurance of improvements as compared to other farmers who sell to other milk companies where price of the commodity keeps on fluctuating.
The Murang’a County Creameries (MCC) has been collecting milk from farmers affiliated to the 28 dairy co-operative societies since it was formed in late 2014 and now the county government-negotiated agreement will continue seeing the farmers secure stable milk prices.
Other milk processors such as Kenya Co-operative Creameries (New KCC) and Brookside Dairies have been paying different prices per litre of milk depending on production and supply of the commodity at a given time.
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The two firms have in different times offered farmers Sh26, Sh35, Sh42, Sh43 and currently Sh37 per litre of milk delivered with no assurance that the current price will stand or improved.
“We have agreed with all the stakeholders that milk prices would not go below Sh35 and would only be adjusted upwards whenever prices improve,” said Julius Maina, the MCC chairman.
This agreement has since seen dairy farming emerge as a commercial venture in many households, especially after the county government supported farmers with coolers. The county has 35 milk coolers installed in all milk production areas within the county.
Farmers are paid their dues after every end month.
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However, this still makes the MCC incomplete due to lack of funds despite equipment worth Sh250m being brought in last year.
“We hope that the plant will be completed in the current financial year, 2017/2018 after members of the county assembly started giving it more attention and priority,” said Maina.
The Murng’a County plant can process 20,000 litres of milk per hour, farmers deliver 150,000 litres per day while the rest of the milk comes from MCC’s 36 dairy saccos across the county.
The plant has enabled farmers to add value to their produce and earn more money. Some more products expected to be manufactured from the company include yoghurt, cheese, powdered milk and long and semi-long life packed milk.
Murang’a has about 43,000 dairy farmers. The farmers have since registered an increase in production from 5,000 litres to 127,000 litres a day on high investments.
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Contracted milk transporters are charging two shillings per kilo further helping in cutting down losses by collecting the produce from farmers and delivering it to the coolers.