KMT Livestock Case Study

Commercialising and Professionalising the Management of Dairy Hubs

The value of Kenya’s dairy industry is estimated at USD 1.4 billion, with more than two million households believed to be involved at the production level of the value chain, many of whom are rural poor. For these households, dairy is the leading source of agricultural income contributing to over 20 per cent of household income.

Despite 80 per cent of all milk sold coming from the informal dairy value chain, working with the formal sector offers the greatest opportunities for sustainable value-creating enterprise development.

However, there remain systemic constraints related to the interconnectivity of various service markets feeding into dairy as well as how the process of formalisation is evolving. With this, there is a need to work with dairy hubs to improve their effectiveness and efficiency in business operations. The major focus is on business practices that have particular implications for farmers.

Constraints facing market actors along the dairy value chain:

  • high cost of production
  • low adoption of appropriate dairy production technologies
  • lack of access to markets
  • poor infrastructure
  • poor milk quality
  • inconsistent production

Systemic constraints at the cooperatives and dairy hubs level:

  • poor governance
  • lack of customer loyalty
  • lack of proper management tools for efficient service delivery to farmers

Smallholder farmers face limited access to correct and reliable animal farm inputs.

This lowers their production capacity and subsequently their income.

Our Intervention

In 2016, KMT and PKF entered a partnership aimed at developing Kenya’s dairy sector through commercialising and professionalising the management of dairy hubs.

The aim of the project was to unlock dairy hubs potential by transforming them into thriving businesses that offer affordable quality services and better prices to farmers. PKF developed a hub management package that sought to unlock the potential of dairy hubs and eventually that of smallholder dairy farmers.

When PKF started implementation, three business models were developed and adopted. Six dairy hubs were engaged after taking them through a rigorous selection criterion.

Farmer-led model

Under this model, farmers were to invest in all milk handling equipment and infrastructure and market their milk to the final consumer

Investor-led model

In this model, an independent business entrepreneur was to invest in processing equipment, and then enter into a contract with farmers for supply of milk.

Mixed / Co-ownership Model

This model entailed farmers and entrepreneurs developing a business model where both are shareholders, depending on capital contributions.


Increase in production capacity

The hub has increased milk production capacity from 8,000 litres per day in 2016 to 22,000 litres per day by August 2019

Increase in farmer membership

The hub mobilised farmers and increased its membership from 3,000 farmers in 2016 to 5,800 farmers as of August 2019

Attracting diversified financing options

As a result of improved governance and the existence of management tools like a strategic plan, the hub attracted funding from GIZ and partnered with Safaricom to developed a mobile-based application to manage milk collection and payment.

KMT Livestock Case Study

Commercialising and Professionalising the Management of Dairy Hubs

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A Dawn of a New Chapter for Kenya Markets Trust

After years of successfully working together as partners with a shared mission of transforming sectors in East Africa, Gatsby Africa, Kenya Markets Trust and Msingi East Africa have decided to integrate and become one entity as of April 01, 2022.

The new integrated entity will be called Gatsby Africa – a philanthropic entity of Lord David Sainsbury and will operate across six sectors in East Africa – Commercial Forestry, Aquaculture, Textiles and Apparel, Livestock, Agricultural Inputs, and Water.

We believe that the ambition and vision of the new organisation, coupled with the breadth of our portfolio, puts us in a strong position to deliver a meaningful level of impact for millions of people in the East African region. It equally strengthens our ability to generate and share our learning with others.

Coming together allows us to leverage the strengths of the three organisations, brings efficiency to how we work, and ensures we have a greater impact in our work.

What does this mean for the work that we have been passionately championing over the years? There will be no changes to the focus and modalities of how we work or our shared commitments – our three existing programmes will continue to operate in the same way they have always done.

We will be launching the new integrated Gatsby Africa organisation on April 01, 2022. By mid-April, we will share with you a link to our new website and official social media handles. However, we will retain our current website for a minimum period of six months, so that our knowledge materials are available to you. We shall be moving these over to our new website so that nothing will be lost.

As an organisation, we are excited about the opportunities that this integration brings for our people, partners and the sectors we work in. We are humbled by the collaboration and good working relationship we have had with all our different stakeholders and look forward to continuing working with you in the new organisation.