By John Ochieng.
Members of Rongo Dairy Farmers Cooperative Society recently staged a violent protest over failure by the Society to pay them for milk deliveries.
Hundreds of dairy farmers participated in a demonstration in Rongo town, before threatening to burn down the Co-operative Society’s offices. This prompted police officers from Rongo Sub County to move in and quell the angry protestors who claimed that they were owed Sh 1.2 million, which is payment for two months’ milk delivery.
“We agreed that our dues were to be paid every 5th of the month. We are yet to understand why this arrangement changed to 14th of the month. We have school going children who are now at home because of non-payment of school fees. There is a possibility that our children will not be allowed to sit for end year examinations. We rely entirely on payment for milk deliveries and have no options left,” said Perez Atieno, one of the dairy farmers.
Mourice Ariyo Anyango, Rongo Dairy Co-operative Society Chairman confirmed that dairy farmers have not been paid due to delays from Kenya Co-operative Creameries(KCC), the buyer of milk from Rongo Dairy Farmers Co-operative Society. KCC is said to owe Rongo Dairy Farmers Co-operative Society over Sh 950,000 for bulk milk deliveries.
After a five hour meeting, Rongo Dairy farmers received half payments with the Society promising to clear the balance as soon as KCC repays its debt.