The county government of Lamu is in the process of reviving a milk processing plant that collapsed in Witu two years ago.
Lamu Executive for Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperative Societies Grace Mburu said the county government have already set aside Sh.1 Million for the repair of major machines crucial in the functionality of the plant.
Mburu said dairy farmers have continued to suffer in the hands of canny middlemen and that the plant will enable them to get the required profits from the sell of their milk.
The Witu plant collapsed due to mismanagement but Mburu said after renovation, the plant will be fitted with the right machinery and well able personnel who will man it.
“We have set aside Sh.1 Million that will solely be used to renovate the collapsed Witu dairy plant so that our dairy farmers can have a reliable place to sell their milk. The money is to ensure the major machines at the plant are in good working order and we shall be good to go. We are targeting over 10,000 dairy farmers just from Witu alone,” said Mburu.
The plant is expected to benefit over 10,000 dairy farmers in Witu who continue to be victims of exploitative middlemen who are said to buy their milk at low prices.
The dairy farmers have complained that a renowned dairy company which set up raw milk collection facilities including booths and a mobile cooler in the region has also been buying their milk at low prices.
They however said it was impossible for them to act since they had entered into an agreement that will see them supply the company with their milk until later in the year.
“Initially, when this company sought a partnership with dairy farmers here, we were optimistic that things would be better. We even entered into an agreement that we would supply our milk up to a particular period this years. Things were okay at first but as it is now, we don’t know if we made the right move,” said Abdi Khalifa,a dairy farmer.