KENYA – A multi-million milk processing plant constructed by the Canadian government at Nyeri National Polytechnic was recently commercialised for the benefit of the dairy farmers in the adjacent communities.
The facility was set up as part of the Canada-Kenya education for employment program (KEFEP) intended to be implemented across 10 national polytechnics in Kenya with KES6.4 billion (US$50M) in funding so far.
KEFEP is focused on strengthening and supporting technical and vocational education and training in Kenya.
The milk plant in Nyeri National Polytechnic is currently used by the students to process yoghurt, cheese and milk and has the capacity to process about 1000 litres of milk after every hour.
In attendance at the plant’s inauguration ceremony, was the principal of the institution, David Mwangi the governor of Nyeri county, Mutahi Kahiga, and Canadian officials among others.
Mr David Mwangi said, “We are commercializing this plant for the benefit of the community and eventual sustainability so that we collect milk from surrounding dairy farmers at a competitive price”
The governor also assured all parties involved that his government will collaborate with the institution to ensure its success and also sponsor identified county workers to study at the plant to gain technical skills in the dairy field and help further improve dairy farming.
He said, “Currently we have over 177 dairy cooperative societies delivering milk to existing processors such as Brookside, KCC, and Wakulima among others, we will work with you and ensure you get demand, we are happy that the milk market is opening up with the entry of more processors”
Canadaian high commissioner, Christopher Thornly on the other hand, said that the plant is part of his government’s efforts to eradicate poverty through the training of skilled youths in all spheres.
“As a country, we will renew this funding and ensure Kenya has a skilled workforce through TVETS which are the baseline of skilled workforce,” said Thornly.
When it was first launched, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Alfred Mutua said the programme is expected to support economic diversification in the country adding that it is a bilateral project funded by Kenya and Canada.
Mutua said that the students studying in the country under the program will also be given a chance to apply for jobs abroad after the completion of their studies.
He said the project is important as it anticipates supporting local institutions in delivering skills training programmes that meet international standards.