- According to the chairman of Keringet Foods Gilbert Rotich, the project began in 2009 with only 48 members at the time.
- Its sole purpose then was to perform social functions like digging wells and introducing self-empowerment projects to the residents.
- The company has also faced teething problems after the donor organisation detached itself.
- The short term goal however, according to Mr Rotich is to roll out more milk ATMs across the country to boost sales.
A group of farmers from Keringet town in Nakuru County has built a milk processing plant as a solution to the problems that ail milk production business.
Situated about 26 kilometres from Molo town, Keringet Foods Limited stands tall as a product of combined effort between the farmers and the Gorta Self-Help Africa organisation.
According to the chairman of Keringet Foods Gilbert Rotich, the project began in 2009 with only 48 members at the time. Its sole purpose then was to perform social functions like digging wells and introducing self-empowerment projects to the residents.
“In 2014, we decided to empower the farmers by introducing a business sense by adding value to the products we produce,” said Mr Rotich.
Although it was a noble idea, Mr Rotich said he had a hard time convincing the residents to join him given this was an indigenous company.
“Since most people had a cow, we started with milk production and decided to do bulking for the farmers willing to sell the milk to us,” he said.
Mr Rotich noticed that the farmers were relying on unstructured markets to sell their produce and came up with a way to consolidate the produce and hence magnify individual returns. He also wanted to create jobs.
Each of the 48 members contributed Sh10,000 each and with the assistance of the donor company, Gorta Self help Africa, Keringet Foods Company was born.
In 2014, the milk plant began milk bulking where they bought milk from the farmer, pasteurised it and sold it a profit through milk “automated teller machines”.
“We started with 200 litres per day but now we receive and pasteurise 10,000 litres a day,” said Mr Rotich proudly.
He said the company buys milk from the farmers at Sh30 to Sh35 per litre and sells raw milk at Sh34 to Sh40 per litre, depending on the market prices.