KENYA – New Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC), the government-owned, second largest dairy processor in Kenya has invested more than US$9.9m in modernizing its factories in a bid to improve production and increase local market share.

The Nation reports the investment is geared at increasing the company’s capacity from the current annual pay-out to farmers of US$44.47 million to US$59.29 million.

According to the company CEO, Mr Nixon Sigey, the modernisation process will help the company reposition itself as the leading milk processor in the region by enhancing quality and quantity of its range of products.

The developments come after data from the Kenya Dairy Board for the year 2017 revealed that New KCC has increased its market share from 23% to 35% despite a consolidation splurge by the leading producer, Brookside Dairy.

New KCC recorded a 2% growth compared to the same year ahead of Githunguri Dairy Farmers Co-operative, maker of Fresha brand which commands only 10% of the market share.

“Since the modernisation process started two years ago, the company has increased its market share from 20% to the current 35%.

At the end of the exercise in a year’s time, we expect to over shoot the 40 per cent currently controlled by the market leader,” Mr Sigey said.

He said the company exports its products to Tanzania, South Sudan and South Arabia thus, increased production would enable it to widen its foreign market scope.

“New KCC is ranked number 27 globally on quality of its variety of milk products. Upon competition of the ongoing modernisation, we would be able to sell our products anywhere in the world.”

Mr. Sigey revealed this while receiving ultra-modern machines worth US$1.98 million to replace old ones at KCC plant in Sotik.

With the upgrade, farmers from the region will earn upto US$14.85 million a year up from the current US$ 8,419.55.

Phase one of the modernisation process will cover the Eldoret and Nyahururu factories, phase two will include Sotik, Nakuru and Dandora factories while the last phase involves Kiganjo, Kitale and Miritini factories, revealed Sigey.

“Following the ongoing modernisation of the new KCC factories and armed with the latest technology we are able to cope with emerging trends in the market,” Mr Sigey said.