Co-operative Dairy Development
Dairy Farmers of Cherangany
The Co-operative Dairy Development project has helped reduce poverty in the Cherangany region of Kenya by helping farmers improve their dairy practices and make more effective use of their collective strengths. Many people in the Cherangany region of Kenya rely on a small number of dairy cows to provide essential nutrition for their families and to earn income to pay for school fees and other basic needs. Their milk production, and hence their incomes, is limited by inefficient farming practices including overgrazing, inadequate water supply, limited use of ensiled feeds, and a lack of milk refrigeration equipment.
In June 2014, two of our directors, Blair and Karen (a Canadian dairy farmer) went on a fact-finding trip to Cherangany Kenya. They visited over twenty farms, met farm families, and were welcomed into the homes of numerous Kenyan dairy farmers. As a direct result of this trip we have selected two dairy co-operatives for our initial Dairy Development project. The Taito Co-operative Dairy Society, which has approximately 350 members was formed in 2011. The Mwaita Co-operative which was formed more recently and has already grown to approximately one hundred members. These two co-operatives are now working together and have recently entered into a joint contract to sell their milk. Co-operation between them has resulted in greater bargaining power and made it possible to negotiate a higher price for their unchilled milk. Kenyan Kids Foundation Canada is developing a good working relationship with both co-operatives as a result of our initial and subsequent trips to Kenya and regular communication with them. Wesley and Tarah Korir, who live in Kenya, also maintain regular contact with both co-operatives and with our team in Canada.
Support from Canada:
Kenyan Kids Foundation Canada has been fortunate to receive a great deal of support for our Co-operative Dairy Development project from Canadian companies in the process of acquiring and shipping dairy equipment to Kenya. In December of 2014, we loaded four milk-chilling tanks (3000 L each), two diesel generators, and various other equipment including semen storage tanks, water drilling equipment and more than two thousand children’s books into a forty-foot shipping container (see our Newsletter). The container arrived in Cherangany in mid-March. In order to install and begin using this equipment, a significant amount of work remains. We need additional financial support to complete the this phase of this project. This will involve constructing buildings for the milk coolers and diesel generators, as well as providing clean water and hydro to these facilities. We also plan to invest in training programs that will be important to help ensure that the project is successful in increasing milk production, reducing poverty and improving the lives of the participating farmers and their families. We hope that our first two chilling stations will serve as models that our Foundation can use to support additional Co-operative Dairy Development projects in Kenya.