Kenneth Metto is a 28-year-old husband and father of an infant child living in Ndalat, Kenya. Metto earned a certificate in sustainable agriculture from the Kipkaren Training Development Centre in 2007. He tried to earn a living through growing cabbage, but the lack of an organized market and of customers who could afford to pay for goods meant that much of what he grew would often rot in the ground.

Metto struggled to put food on the table without a steady source of income.

EADD Farmer receives healthcare plan from Tanykina Dairy Company
An EADD farming family receives a membership card on behalf the members of Tanykina Community Healthcare Plan

The Tanykina Dairy Company, another EADD cooperative, hired him as an extension worker to train farmers on topics such as feeding, ensuring milk quality, breeding practices and record keeping. In his role as a trainer, Metto has seen firsthand how the project changed the ways of most dairy farmers in his area.

The changes in Metto’s own life are as great as those he sees in the farmers with whom he works. Through his earnings as a trainer, he is not only able to feed his family but also had enough to purchase his own cow. His cow produces enough milk to nourish his growing family and to sell several liters each day to the Tanykina Dairy.

The project also brought other benefits to Kenneth’s community. For example, Tanykina now offers a Community Healthcare Plan so that farmers can access medical care at an affordable rate. Metto and his family benefited directly from improved prenatal care, with a child born in 2011 at new local clinic.

Schools in Metto’s community that used to be made of mud have been upgraded into cement structures. Classrooms that were empty once again have students as farmers have an income to pay for school fees by using the check-off system implemented at the dairy cooperative.

Profile by Jennifer Wheary, World Ark contributor

Read how the East Africa Dairy Development Program is creating a robust dairy industry in a region where fresh milk was once in short supply.  

Author

Annie Bergman

Bergman is a Global Communications Manager for Heifer and helps plan, assign and develop content for the nonprofit’s website, magazine and blog. Bergman has interviewed survivors of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, beekeepers in Honduras, women’s groups in India and war widows in Kosovo in her six years at Heifer. Bergman received her bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma and a master’s degree in Australian Aboriginal Studies from the University of Melbourne in Australia. Her hobbies include hiking, golfing, cooking, reading and walking her dogs.