County officials yet to collect 100 milk coolers
The facilities lie idle in government stores as leaders delay to build structures for their installation. Up to 20 coolers will be imported from Poland every two weeks until the 350 units are delivered.
Up to 20 coolers will be imported from Poland every two weeks until the 350 units are delivered. FILE photo | nmg
More than 100 milk coolers are lying idle in government stores as county governments delay to build structures for their installation. Livestock principal secretary Harry Kimtai said the government has bought 180 coolers with 3,000 litres capacity and is on course to import 170 more. “However, we have only installed 80 milk coolers as we wait for most of the counties to build structures which have plenty of water and a source of power,” he said during a meeting in Kisumu this week.“The ball is now in the court of the county governments. We were planning to procure another 600 coolers but we cannot get more while others are still in our stores.”
The installation is part of a national exercise which the government intends to use to boost the production of milk, which stands at 5.2 billion litres annually.The government is spending Sh2.2 billion to buy the coolers which are supposed to be distributed in 37 counties that have the potential for dairy farming.Up to 20 coolers will be imported from Poland every two weeks until the 350 units are delivered.According to Julius Kiptarus, director of Livestock Production, county governments are supposed to build premises and install water and electricity for use by farmer groups. “We have told farmers to form groups because the government is providing coolers plus installation. There is subsidy that the government provides to farmers,” said Dr Kiptarus.He also indicated that some coolers will be installed in Isiolo, Wajir and Garissa counties as the government targets to enhance the production of camel milk.As part of the intervention the PS said the ministry is engaging the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) to connect the premises to the national grid.“In collaboration with the Ministry of Energy through their Last Mile programme, we intend to connect farmers with electricity in the next phase,” said Mr Kimtai.