Food security and nutrition are key challenges in Kenya, with levels of malnutrition remaining high. The country's well-established dairy industry produces 5.2 billion litres of milk per annum, most of which is generated by Kenya's 1.8 million smallholder dairy farmers.
However, productivity per cow is low, with an average of just 4-5 litres per day. This is attributed to poor farm management, inadequate animal husbandry practices and lack of support services for cow nutrition, breeding and health.
Our customer, Uplands Premium Dairies & Food, Ltd. (Uplands), operates from the Kiambu County in Kenya – a region that relies on dairy farming but suffers from low productivity for the reasons outlined above. This leads to low incomes and poor quality raw milk.
Building on positive experiences in other countries, Tetra Pak and Tetra Laval Food for Development is working with Uplands to implement a Dairy Hub project.
Tetra Laval Food for Development is helping provide farm assessments and technical assistance. For example, a team of Extension Service Officers (ESOs) are being trained by our Dairy Specialist, using reference dairy farms to showcase best practice for milk hygiene and quality, and animal nutrition, health and reproduction. The ESOs then share this knowledge with more than 7,000 smallholder farms in the Uplands supply chain.
The Dairy Hub project has already started to see positive results. For example, milk production yield per cow on the initial reference farms has increased 150% from 7.5 litres per day to 18.8 litres per day. Overall, milk collection has grown by 16% in the past year and Uplands´ milk collection cost has decreased by 5%.
The smallholder farmers connected to this project benefit because Uplands collects all their milk, provides access to a formal market and increases their knowledge and capacity.
"We are very happy about the joint work we have been developing in the Dairy Hub project together with Tetra Pak and Tetra Laval Food for Development. This has contributed greatly to the strengthening of our relations with our milk suppliers." - Francis Nganga, General Manager, Uplands Dairy
This project is a private sector initiative and is now looking for partners to scale-up its training services. The project has a large scope, currently covering more than 7,000 smallholder farmers that deliver milk to Uplands. Future objectives include further increasing milk quality, quantity and smallholder farmer income. The dairy development initiative also aims to benefit child nutrition in the future by focusing efforts on producing milk for the Kenya School Milk Programme.