Dairy farmers in North Rift have opposed the privatisation of the New Kenya Cooperative Creameries Ltd. The farmers are appealing to the government to surrender the ownership of the firm to them as was the case in the past. The farmers, who were attending a meeting at Chepkatet over the weekend, called on the Jubilee government to honour a pledge made by a former regime to revert the ownership of the firm to farmers. Close to 200 farmers representing various societies said the dairy industry has grown strong enough to manage the creamery which is currently a parastatal. Former nominated MP Mark Too led the farmers who said KCC is "wholly a farmer's entity". "We are calling on the government to reconsider and implement some of the pledges made by past regimes. The dairy industry has come far and is continually making tremendous achievements and therefore, farmers should be given their company," Mr Too said. The Kenya Farmers Association chairman Mr Kipkorir Arap Menjo noted that the Narc Government announced that it would revert New KCC to farmers once it settled a loan the firm had failed to repay. MAKING PROFIT "The bank that had loaned the cooperative sold the company at Sh400 million and upon our petition, the then president (Kibaki) directed that payment be made to the persons who had acquired it," said Menjo. However, Menjo said it was time the government returned the company to farmers as it has been making profits and paying dividend since 2003.
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