Tetra Pak has joined efforts in a public-private development partnership to scale up dairy development in Kenya and meet the country’s growing demand for dairy products in a sustainable way. This initiative will improve livelihoods through increased dairy productivity, increased incomes, and increased participation of women in the dairy value chain.
Kenya's dairy sector is valued at over $1.7 billion and contributes 40 percent of the country's agriculture GDP, providing livelihoods for over 700,000 smallholder rural households. Smallholder farmers (those with between one and three cows) account for nearly 80 percent of the country's milk production, according to the Kenya Dairy Board.
However, many of these farmers are struggling with low quality, yields and profitability. Due to insufficient infrastructure and cooling centres, many farmers rely on informal channels to supply their milk. Unexpected weather patterns have also caused farmers earnings to drop.
To address these challenges and help local milk production fulfil its potential, we have formed a public-private development partnership between Tetra Pak East Africa, Tetra Laval Food for Development, our customer New Kenya Co-operative Creameries (NKCC), the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), and the NGO Heifer International.
The UN's 17th and final SDG calls for 'Partnership for the Goals', recognising that we must create innovate new collaborations to overcome the challenges we face. This partnership entails a $12.6 million investment project that will help to increase the quantity and quality of the milk produced by 30,000 smallholder farmers in the Rift Valley and Eastern Kenya, thus also contributing to SDG 2.
Building upon the positive experiences from our Dairy Hub model, Tetra Pak's role is to provide hands-on training to smallholder farmers. "We're very excited to kick-off the Kenya Dairy Hub project in collaboration with a committed group of partners" - Rafael Fábrega, Director of Tetra Laval Food for Development.
Meanwhile our customer, NKCC, will put its time, capital and personnel into ensuring success. "The project promises to increase production yield per cow through an innovative extension approach and rich technical support from the participating partners", says Dominic Menjo, NKCC Chief Manager for Milk Procurement and Extension Services.
This initiative will improve the livelihoods of 30,000 smallholder dairy farmers and their families, through increased dairy productivity, increased incomes, and increased participation of women in the dairy value chain.
Because every farmer involved in the project will have their milk bought and collected for processing every day, they will be able to invest in their businesses and grow the country's dairy value chain in a sustainable way.
The project also has a target that 50 percent of all attendees in training should be women. Women are already involved in keeping the livestock; new skills will strengthen their positions in the labour market and in the local societies. Children will also benefit from nutritious and quality milk in the Kenya school milk programme.
With a baseline established, the project launch workshop took place in March, 2018. Our Tetra Laval Food for Development Dairy Development Specialist is conducting practical training for the extension service officers and smallholder farmers. As the project progresses, key indicators will be measured, including milk production, milk quality and famer income.