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Bukedea Farmers Fail to Run Milk Plant

John Stephen Okurut, the Chairperson of Kabarwa Dairy Plant, said the facility only worked between 2015 and 2018 after being established. He notes that trouble in the management of the facility started when the sub-county tendered it to Patrick Mwesigye in September 2018.
Kabarwa Milk Plant

Audio 1

A multi million Shillings milk plant is wasting away in Kabarwa Sub County in Bukedea district following the failure by the farmers to manage it. The Shillings 150 million milk plant was built by the local government ministry under the Community Infrastructure Improvement Program, CAIIP in 2013 with funding from the World Bank.   The plant worked briefly after it was handed over to the sub-county authorities and 53 dairy farmers in Kabarwa. It has a capacity of processing 2,360 liters.

John Stephen Okurut, the Chairperson of Kabarwa Dairy Plant, said the facility only worked between 2015 and 2018 after being established. He notes that trouble in the management of the facility started when the sub-county tendered it to Patrick Mwesigye in September 2018. He explains that most farmers abandoned the facility, something that affected its operations.

“There is a lot of milk here without market that is why we requested for the milk cooler to enable dairy farmers to collect their milk and sell at better prices. But the first issue that has affected the facility is power. We run the generator throughout yet the electricity poles are just a stone throw away from the facility. Being redundant here has helped some wrong elements dismantle some parts of the cooler”, he said.

Okurut revealed that the battery, a fuse and some other parts of the cooler were removed from the plant. URN visited Kabarwa Milk Plant and found it covered by grass up to the access door.  Kevin Apolot, a dairy farmer in Kabarwa, says that they need power and serious management to enable build trust among farmers.

She reveals that some farmers are still demanding money from the managers of the facility for the milk supplied. Dr. Francis Ongelech, the Bukedea District Veterinary Officer blames the problems at the plant on poor attitude and management. He told our reporter that the district has tried to mobilize farmers to run the plant privately especially as a cooperative but with little success.

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Kabarwa Milk Plant is the only facility in Bukedea district for collecting milk from farmers.