The County Government of Murang’a has suspended operations at the county milk processing plant and sent all the factory employees on unpaid leave.
In a letter written by the County Chief Officer for Trade, Dairy Development and Marketing, Mr. Peter Mburu, only security personnel will remain behind while members of staff offering essential services will be recalled when need arises.
The suspension of the operations of the factory located in Maragua area is a big blow to the dairy sector in the County as many dairy farmers were supplying their milk to a multimillion plant which was established by former governor Mwangi wa Iria.
A letter dated August 31, indicated the new Administration suspended operations of the plant so as to allow audit and establish measures to help the creameries stop making losses.
“Following a meeting with the Governor and the Executive, it was found prudent to avoid incurring further expenses at the factory,” read part of the letter.
“Subsequently, all the operations should be suspended and all the factory employees proceed on leave with immediate effect until further notice. Only security personnel will be left to guard the premises, as staff offering essential services will be summoned to attend to any crucial activity by the Chief Officer,” Mburu informed in the letter.
The closure of the factory will force scores of farmers to revert to selling their milk to private companies.
The plant which cost about Sh. 500 million to establish was put under a county dairy cooperative, which brought together small cooperatives drawn from different parts of the County.
Former County government also procured 35 milk coolers which were distributed to wards to help in collection and storage of milk.
Financial challenges started to rock the factory from July 2021 when some of cooperatives stopped supplying milk to the facility, citing poor price and delay in payments.
Kiarutara, New Nginda, Kahuro, Kigoro and Kangari cooperative societies walked out leaving the factory operating under capacity.
During his inauguration, Kang’ata said he will institute an audit of the facility and establish the people behind the downfall of creameries.