In Kenya, “Boda bodas”- motorbikes- are known for human transport. At Gatamaiyu Dairy Cooperative society, they are known for milk collection.
Founded in 1963, Gatamaiyu Dairy Cooperative Society has over time been very ineffective in collection of milk from their key suppliers, the dairy smallholder farmers. This state prompted Kenya Markets Trust and its implementing partner, TechnoServe, to intervene in facilitating the engagement of a professional management firm, which has seen the cooperative’s business turn around.
Prior to the intervention, the Cooperative had a membership of 4,600 with a daily collection of 20,000 liters of milk, a collection that continually dropped due to resentment by the farmers occasioned by poor business performance.
As a result of non –payment of milk deliveries to processors and other end markets, the Cooperative could not afford to pay back farmers for milk delivered, for a fair period of time. Due to this, there was resentment and a huge exodus by farmers leading to low volumes of milk delivered to the Cooperative. The Cooperative also got entangled in bad debts with input suppliers.
The professional management firm engagement is reported to have already bore fruits, with the introduction of boda boda milk collection increasing efficiency, which has seen the farmer membership go up to about 200, from less than 100.
Operational costs for the cooperative society are reported to have gone down, as the cost of maintaining the lorries they were using in the past was very high, meaning more benefits to farmers!
Penetrating some almost inaccessible areas is now easy, thanks to the motorbikes. Member farmers now have a reason to smile, as they don’t have to look for their own means to get their milk to the processors.