Kenya Markets Trust’s Dairy Sector Team recently visited Taita Taveta County to explore opportunities of expanding our interventions in the county. According to the County Government, the dairy sector is emerging as a potentially profitable investment for smallholder farmers, especially in the County’s upper zone. It provides nutrition, incomes and social recognition to the residents.
Dairy Cows feeding on hay
The County plans to strengthen the dairy cooperative movement to promote milk bulking and cooling in various areas to preserve the milk. It also plans to work with stakeholders in the industry to increase the number of dairy cows especially through the youth and women groups, as well as developing a dairy value chain strategy.
Recent trends show an increasingly demand for milk in the coastal counties. KMT sees an opportunity in facilitating increase in direct access to milk markets through established dairy hubs and support access to quality fodder by initiating fodder production through communal ranches.
In this visit, KMT interacted with Maziwa Taita and Kishushe Fodder Production Group.
Maziwa Taita is a cooperative started in 2009, with support from Brookside Dairies Ltd, to mobilize farmers to collect milk from the County. The business has since transited through several management models and is currently operating as a a cooperative.
KMT Team at Maziwa Taita, during the recent visit to Taita Taveta County to map out potential partners in our Dairy Sector work
Kishushe Hay Group, on the other hand, is a community group that comes together to harvest hay from a community ranch of about 60,000 acres. Annually, the group harvests 4,500 bales from banks of a river that cuts across the ranch. Their customers range from various county governments, to individual buyers from Nairobi as well as Rombo in Tanzania.
KMT Team at Kishushe Hay Farm during the recent visit to Taita Taveta County to map out potential partners in our Dairy Sector work
KMT is exploring partnership with these two firms, as well as others we will identify in the course of our work. Our aim is to drive transformational change in the dairy sector, which calls for far reaching interventions in different parts of the country.