In just three years, Tanykina Dairy Plant, located in Kipkaren Division, Nandi North District, in the Rift Valley province of Kenya has made several entrepreneurial highs in small business dairy industry. Recently, shareholders celebrated commissioning of a newly constructed-farmer owned- state of art milk chilling plant. The milk plant previously rented its business premises. Additionally, in the last few months the plant has reported increased volumes of bulked milk; in addition to adopting quality control measures that ensure most milk collected has low bacteria counts.
Tanykina Dairy Plant is engaged in provision of Artificial Insemination (AI) and veterinary extension services, financial services, a health care scheme for shareholders, collection, bulking, and marketing of milk to share holders in. The plant currently collects and markets approximately 30 000 litres of milk per day. It has 6000 shareholders, all dairy farmers and each of whom receives an average monthly payment of KES 4000.
Kenya Minister for Livestock Hon Abdi Kuti attended the commissioning. He commended the dairy plant and East Africa Dairy Development Project (EADD) for its interventions to raise the income of rural dairy families through bulked milk collection and marketing saying, “I believe this is the way we must develop people living in rural areas in order to fight poverty and create wealth at the grass root level. This programme on value addition through chilling will bring a dairy revolution in not only Kenya but the continent at large.”
He noted the role of EADD hub model as a catalyst for initiating rural economic growth especially through the provision of financial services in the village centres. Through the centres, he noted rural people access money and financial services thus providing them with dispensable cash, which in return promoted rural economic growth. Mr. Silvanus Chemengen, Chairman of the dairy plant gave the history and growth of the milk enterprise. According to him, the plant had grown from collecting 526 litres of milk per day in 2005, to the current collection of 30 000 litres per day with annual earnings of 292 million in 2010. He noted some of the challenges faced as limited facilities to handle increasing milk volumes, disease outbreaks affecting livestock, poor road networks in the villages that delays supply of milk to the cooling plant thus leading to increased spoilage. The Chairman requested for assistance from the Ministry of Livestock in marketing for better milk prices and increase in Artificial Insemination (AI) straws to ensure better breeds and increased milk production. In response, Hon Kuti announced that the government had upgraded a nearby station, Kabete, to a fully-fledged state corporation. This means that the government will allocate Kabete station with funds to subsidize on its AI costs and ensure that farmers access AI straws at reduced prices.
The Minister instructed that the division identify two youths (a male and female) who the Ministry of Livestock Development will sponsor for training in Animal Health. Upon completion of training, the two will be attached to Kipkaren to support farmers.
Speaking on behalf Heifer International, Deputy Country Director Mr. Crispin Mwatate, emphasised on the need to avail to farmers services that will increase the productivity of their livestock. EADD model supports the strengthening of organizational capacity in the dairy farmer owned institutions so that they are able to govern their business sustainably, make profit and pay more to the farmers. According to Augustine Cheruiyot, the EADD-Kenya Country Project Manager, the Kenya project is working with over 105,000 dairy farmers registered in 21 cooling plants in Rift Valley and Central provinces. He stated that, in the last six months, the cooling plants have paid farmers a combined total of Kshs. 1.1 Billion from milk sales.
Cheruiyot expressed his confidence in Tanykina as it received a loan of Kshs. 9, 829, 775 from CFC Stanbic bank to aid in setting up of four satellite coolers in Kaptebee, Kaptel, Kapkoros and Lemook.