President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday opened an ultra-modern milk factory in Eldoret.
The factory, revived by the government for Sh500 million, will also ensure there is a constant supply of milk in the country through diversification of products.
The New Kenya Cooperative Creameries factory collapsed in 1999.
The President unveiled the New KCC Ultramodern UHT Production Unit, the biggest in East and Central Africa.
The factory will be able to accommodate excess supply of milk by processing it into powder and later on reconstitute it to long-life milk.
President Kenyatta was accompanied by his Deputy President William Ruto, Cabinet secretaries, Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago and other local leaders.
“When we came into power, this factory was rundown and was in a lot of debt. We paid off the debt, which was more than Sh500 million and we did not stop there, but allocated more money to revive the factory,” said the President.
He said the government will revive seven other New KCC factories that were neglected and collapsed.
President Kenyatta accused the opposition of engaging in negative talk against his government’s development track record.
He said it was perplexing that those who have served in government in the past 30 years but are now in the opposition have the audacity to criticise his government.
“What did they do to revive this factory for all the years they were in government? Rivatex was dead all those years, what did they do?” said the President.
He said Rivatex will start operations soon after the government pumped in millions to revive it.
“We are also reviving Kicomi in Kisumu and Mountex in Central so that our cotton farmers can also get back their economic lifeline,” he said.
President Kenyatta said the government will also exempt all milk products from valued added tax and remove import duties on yellow maize used for making animal feeds.
The Deputy President said the Jubilee government paid off more than 40,000 farmers, who were owed in excess of Sh500 million since 1999 and were neglected by previous administrations.
He said farmers have started benefitting from the new Eldoret KCC factory.
“This factory pays farmers Sh5 billion annually as opposed to Sh2 billion it used to pay in 2013,” said Mr Ruto.
He also criticised the opposition, saying they are out of touch with reality for claiming that dairy farmers are paid Sh30 for a half a litre of milk when the price is actually Sh43.
Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed said the revived factory is the flagship of New KCC and is the biggest and most modern milk plant in East and Central Africa.
New KCC chairman Matu Wamae said the company had reduced the retail price of milk by more than Sh10 but is buying the product from farmers at Sh43.