KENYA – The New Kenya Co-operative Creameries (KCC) has commenced the construction of the ksh.250m (US$2.49m) milk cooling plant in Nyambene-Meru County, Central Kenya.

The facility, whose construction is set to be completed in October this year will have a holding capacity of 100,000 litres.

Unlike other New KCC cooling facilities, the Nyambene plant will, in addition to bulking and chilling, pasteurize the raw milk before it is transported to processing facilities.

The plant will serve dairy farmers from five of the nine sub-counties in Meru County that include Tigania East, Tigania West, Tigania Central, Igembe North and Igembe South which are currently served by smallholder farmers cooperatives and self-help groups that handle a daily average of 50,000 litres.

President Uhuru Kenyatta launching the construction of the plant said, “This cooling plant will help dairy farmers to store their milk and sell it to processors at a good price and at their convenience.”

The President revealed that the government will soon construct a milk processing plant in the region to promote value addition that will enable local dairy farmers to supply processed milk to Meru town, Isiolo and Marsabit counties.

“This plant will also create jobs for the youth in this area. These are the projects that we want to implement to transform the lives of our people,” the President said.

He assured farmers in the region who recently took up large scale production of potatoes that the government will construct a potato cold storage facility in the area.

“This will enable farmers to store their harvest up to six months until they are offered deserving prices for their potatoes,” the President said.

The Meru potato cold storage plant will be one of the three that the government intends to construct by June this year at a cost of ksh100 million (US$0.99m) each.

The others will be in Olkalou in Nyandarua County whose construction the President commissioned recently while the third plant will be set up in Kisii County.