IN RESCUE OF FARMERS

Uhuru directs release of Sh1 billion to rescue milk farmers

Sh575 million will be released to new KCC plants in Nyeri and in Nyahururu.

In Summary

• the President directed the National Treasury to release Sh500 million to the new KCC.

• The National Treasury has further been asked to release Sh660 million to the Kenya National Trading Corporation to purchase excess rice from Kano Plains and Mwea.

Workers pour milk delivered by farmers at Olkalou Dairy cooling plant due to oversupply.
Workers pour milk delivered by farmers at Olkalou Dairy cooling plant due to oversupply.
Image: FILE

Milk farmers' fortunes are set to turn around after President Uhuru Kenyatta directed that the national Treasury releases Sh1 billion to the sector.

Addressing the nation on Tuesday from State House, Mombasa, the President said milk farmers are receiving low prices for their milk.

He said smuggled milk from other countries other than the ones from the Eastern Africa region find its way into the market, hence causing financial hardship to local farmers.

Uhuru directed Treasury to release Sh500 million to the new KCC.

The money, Uhuru said, will be used to purchase excess milk from farmers and convert it into powder.

He also directed the National Treasury to release Sh575 million to new KCC for the two milk plants located in the Mt Kenya region.

"I have directed the National Treasury to release a further Sh575 million to New KCC for two milk plants, one in Nyeri and one in Nyahururu, to enhance their processing capacity," Uhuru said.

During a meeting at Sagana Lodge last year with Mt Kenya leaders, the President mentioned miraa, pyrethrum, coffee, tea, cotton and milk as problems facing the farmers from the region.

The Head of State has further called upon the National Treasury to impose 16 per cent VAT on milk products originating from countries outside the EAC.

" I have further directed KEBSs, Customs, and the DCI to impound any powdered milk or milk products that do not meet Kenyan standards," Uhuru added.

The National Treasury has further been asked to release Sh660 million to the Kenya National Trading Corporation to purchase excess rice from Kano Plains and Mwea.

He said the two regions have experienced bumper harvests and have excess rice in their stores.

The President also issued new changes to KTDA which will enable tea farmers to earn better pay from their tea.

The coffee sector will also benefit from the President's directives.

The Treasury has been asked to operationalise a Sh3 billion Cherry Revolving Fund in 30 days to cushion farmers from delayed payments, and enable them to access finances to meet their daily cash flow requirements.