No javascript detected! Our online shopping basket requires javascript. You can also complete your order by phone at 855.9HUNGER
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security. You can also complete your order by phone at 855.9HUNGER
Return to World Ark Blog Landing

Today, July 7 is United Nations International Day of Cooperatives. Join us as we highlight how Heifer International uses cooperatives in our work around the world.

Cooperatives rock! Wait a minute, as a Kenyan who grew up in Kenya, I hesitate… a bit. Given, it was a sad state of affairs for cooperatives in Kenya and larger East Africa, as we grew up. In the late 90’s the dairy cooperative industry in Kenya, for example collapsed, taking with it millions of farmer’s shillings and crushing their dreams, their family’s futures, their life worth investments. Farmers were left at the mercies of middle-men; known best for their knack of taking the products and not paying, or inconsistencies in collection of the products. It has taken a long time for farmers in the dairy sector to regain their confidence in cooperatives.

But…

Kenya EADD

Today is a new dawn. As we celebrate UN Day of Cooperatives, we also celebrate a new revolution in dairy cooperative development that is taking shape in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. This is a revolution championed by Heifer International through its East Africa Dairy Development Project (EADD) and embraced by farmers in selected districts of the three countries. The project funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the inspiring initiatives turning around the lives of over 176 000 farmers who are spread out in 68 innovative, value-added cooperatives partnering with EADD in the three countries. Farmers like Eliud Wanderi, 35, who today milks over 100 litres of milk from five Friesian dairy cows and makes a $900 every month. Five years ago, Eliud had one cow that produced 5 litres of milk at its best. On average, today, he supplies 110 litres of milk daily to the Mweiga Cooperative Society and neighbouring schools. Eliud is just one of the 2,275 members of Mweiga Cooperative Society in Kieni West, Nyeri County, Central province of Kenya who are making millions of shillings by pooling their efforts.

Agnes Mulindwa, a mother of five from Uganda, testifies to the improvement of her life since joining a cooperative that partners with EADD. “I recently built a new three-bedroom house, and my income has grown.” Stories like these can be heard throughout most of the project areas. Both Agnes and Eliud echo the feelings of their fellow farmers that the EADD hub model, which empowers and adds value to cooperatives, has enabled them access to extension services, markets and knowledge in animal husbandry. Such services had remained inaccessible to many small holder farmers previously.

This is how the revolution begins; cooperatives like Mweiga in Kenya are given a new lease on life, or Bubusi in Uganda are strengthened by partnering with EADD. EADD facilitates them to develop milk collection centers -some with chilling facilities- that hold milk for pickup by commercial dairy processors and traders. These cooperative businesses have created market opportunities by negotiating for better contracts with formal sector processors and traders. As a result, they have earned more than $58 million in milk sales over a three-year period. Linked to 15 affiliated savings and credit cooperatives, the farmers had made dairy related investments worth more than $5 million from 2008 to 2011. In addition, the cooperatives provide comprehensive input and advisory services to farmers, including financial services, feed and fodder, extension services, health insurance for members and animal health services.

The farmers have proven that with concerted efforts, cooperatives are indeed a crucial means for poverty alleviation in Africa and other developing countries. They are milking for profits, building wealth and fostering robust health for their families as they take care of their environment. As a result of interventions, formerly quiet villages are now abuzz with economic activities as early as 2:00 a.m., as farmers awake to their milk production businesses. Women like Agnes are able to sell their milk at all times, thus provide food, school fees and clothing for their families. Young men like Eliud have found alternative source of employment through their dairy businesses, carving out a brighter future for their children; and no longer idle in towns. In fact, EADD, the success of the cooperative and the opportunities created have inspired the EADD project to roll out a strategy to further engage youth in the East Africa dairy value chain, be it in feed production, transport or value addition of milk. The beauty of it is that the value-added cooperatives create a chain reaction of economic activities in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. Increasingly, farmers within these cooperatives are accessing credit from banks to improve their farms or invest in other ventures, unlike before when commercial banks were very reluctant to lend to farmers, as they were perceived to engage in farming as a way of life and not as a business.

We would then confidently say, even in an East African setting, that value-added cooperatives truly rock!

Author

Ann Mbiruru

Free Download

You only need to enter this information once to download digital resources.

My Basket
Need Help?

Basket Summary

edit

{{ product.title }} {{ product.subTitle }}

Qty: {{ product.quantity }} @ {{ product.price | currency }} Qty: {{ product.quantity }} @ FREE
{{ (product.quantity * product.price) | currency }} Free
{{ (product.price) | currency }} You've chosen to make this a monthly donation.
Monthly

No products in cart.

Additional Impact {{ processingFee | currency }} Sub-total {{ cartSubTotal | currency }} Shipping Cost {{ orderShippingCost | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Tax Cost {{ orderTax | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Total {{ cartTotal | currency }}

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

edit

Billing Address

{{ billingAddress.first_name }} {{ billingAddress.last_name }} {{ billingAddress.address_1 }} {{ billingAddress.address_2 }} {{ billingAddress.city }}, {{ billingAddress.state }} {{ billingAddress.zip }} {{ billingAddress.country }}

Company

{{ billingAddress.company }}

Shipping Address

{{ shippingAddress.first_name }} {{ shippingAddress.last_name }} {{ shippingAddress.address_1 }} {{ shippingAddress.address_2 }} {{ shippingAddress.city }}, {{ shippingAddress.state }} {{ shippingAddress.zip }} {{ shippingAddress.country }}

Basket Summary

Step 1 of 2 Step 1 of 3 All major credit cards and Paypal accepted

Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.
Your basket has been updated.
The following item(s) are now sold-out or unavailable and have been removed from your cart:
-{{ product.title }} {{ product.subTitle}} ({{ product.quantity}})

{{ nag.title }}

{{ nag.description }}

{{ product.title }} {{ product.subTitle }} To: {{ product.giftCardRecipientName }} From: {{ product.giftCardSenderPrint }} Email: {{ product.giftCardRecipientEmail }} Delivery: {{ product.giftCardDeliveryDate }} Message: {{ product.giftCardMessage | truncate '200' }} 1 {{prods["title"]}}

{{ (product.quantity * product.price) | currency }}
You've reached the maximum number of products for this item.
You've reached the maximum number of products for this item.
${{ product.price }}
$ {{ product.price }} Free
Monthly
Remove
SubTotal {{ cartSubTotal | currency }}
It's not a hand out. It's a hand up.

For maximum impact, try adding a few items to your basket.

Browse The Gift Catalog
Secured Checkout

Increase Your Impact with a Donation Visit the Gift Catalog

Make an even bigger impact with a donation from our Gift Catalog

Responsibly-Sourced, Artisan-Friendly Gifts Shop the Marketplace

Shop the Marketplace for responsibly-sourced, artisan-friendly gifts
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Step 2 of 2 Step 2 of 3 All major credit cards and Paypal accepted

Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.
Shipping Information

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Shipping Address
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Step 2 of 2 Step 2 of 3 All major credit cards and Paypal accepted

Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.
Billing Information
Enter your company name to see if your employer will match your gift.

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Billing Address
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Step 2 of 2 Step 2 of 3 All major credit cards and Paypal accepted

Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.
Billing Information
Enter your company name to see if your employer will match your gift.

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Billing Address
Shipping Information

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Shipping Address
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary Edit {{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Payment Information

Step 3 of 3 All major credit cards and Paypal accepted

Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.

Payment Summary

Additional Impact {{ processingFee | currency }} Sub-total {{ cartSubTotal | currency }} Shipping Cost {{ orderShippingCost | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Tax Cost {{ orderTax | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Total {{ cartTotal | currency }}

Pay By Credit Card
Pay with PayPal logo
Pay with
We were not able to process your request. Please try again or contact Donor Services at 855.9HUNGER (855.948.6437).
Secured Checkout