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					                    Informal milk trade - clean and certified
    Margaret Likuyu - Livestock production specialist, Smallholder Dairy Project, Kenya
                Teresia Kamau - Business Development Service Provider
                  Gabriel Karanja - Informal milk trader, Thika, Kenya

From 1997-2005, Kenya’s Smallholder Dairy Project worked to improve standards in the
informal milk trade. Interventions included training of smallholder dairy farmers and milk
traders - for example in fodder production and milk hygiene - testing of technologies such as
milk containers, and work to develop supportive policies. As a result, Kenya’s informal milk
trade has been transformed, with milk traders being certified by the Kenya Dairy Board, and
given support to develop their businesses. Dairy specialist Margaret Likuyu reviews some of
the changes with those who have been involved.

Suggested introduction
In Kenya, people love drinking milk, so selling milk is big business. But a lot of the milk drunk
by Kenyan families does come from large, commercial dairies. Instead, it is sold in the
informal market - bought by milk traders from smallholder farmers and sold the same day.

For many years, this informal milk trade was unpopular with the authorities, such as the
Kenya Dairy Board, because of problems with poor hygiene and milk quality. But in the last
five years the situation has changed dramatically. Informal milk traders and small-scale dairy
farmers have been trained in hygiene, and can now be certified by the Dairy Board. And
even government policy now recognises the importance of informal milk sales in Kenya’s
dairy industry.

The dramatic changes were made possible by an eight year Smallholder Dairy Project.
Margaret Likuyu, a dairy specialist with the project, begins this report on what has been

TAPE IN        “This is a typical scene …
TAPE OUT       … the whole of East Africa.”
DURATION       5’36”

Suggested closing announcement
Margaret Likuyu, on how Kenya’s informal milk trade has been transformed, improving milk
quality and gaining acceptance from the government.

For further information
Smallholder Dairy Project -

May 2010                                        1                           
 Making the most of this interview…
 Find out how milk, or another local farm product - a fruit, a vegetable or meat - is traded
 from producer via small trader to consumer. Is its contribution to nutrition and economy
 given the respect and technical support that it needs? Is small scale production and trade
 more efficient and affordable for supplying local demand?

May 2010                                       2                         
                   Informal milk trade - clean and certified
    Margaret Likuyu - Livestock production specialist, Smallholder Dairy Project, Kenya
                Teresia Kamau - Business Development Service Provider
                  Gabriel Karanja - Informal milk trader, Thika, Kenya

Likuyu        This is a typical scene at our local milk collection centre. It is one of the many
              collection centres that take in farmers’ milk. Farmers have to wake up very
              early in the morning because milk is perishable. So it is good when it is
              handled in the early hours of the cool morning to reduce on the spoilage. And
              the farmers bring in their milk. If the milk is found not to be hygienic it is
              rejected. One of the changes that has taken place is that the milk production
              has risen. Although there is drought, farmers know even to cope with the
              drought and there is not a very great reduction in milk collection. And also the
              milk that is rejected has drastically gone down and that means the farmer can
              earn more from their cattle.

Kamau         My name is Teresia Wanjiko Kamau. I am a Business Development Service
              provider accredited by Kenya Dairy Board to offer training to people in the
              milk value chain. One thing I have realised from my customers, that is the
              clients I train, is that people have been able to gain confidence in the milk that
              they are selling. After the training, the trainees get a certificate that is offered
              by the Kenya Dairy Board and once somebody displays that certificate in a
              shop, then whoever comes in to buy the milk then has confidence in the milk

              Another important change I am seeing now is the building of entrepreneurship
              in the informal milk market. The traders are able to keep proper records. They
              are able to monitor their business well.

              Another good thing that has happened is that more Kenyans are able to
              access milk. The informal market provides available milk at an affordable fee.
              Even in the slum area or in any corner of the city or in the rural areas
              everybody is able to access milk especially through the informal milk sector.

Karanja       I’m Gabriel Karanja, I’m a milk trader and I have been in this business for
              quite a number of years, from 1993 up to today. The service that I offer to
              these people is that I move from my place, then with my bicycle I deliver milk
              to the houses, to the doors of the people. Since I started I never knew how to
              handle milk, but after training I don’t get losses now. So the milk business has
              changed a lot. We don’t get the harassment. Although we pay the Dairy
              Board and the permit, transport permit, but that’s not a lot since we don’t lose
              milk since we are trained.

Likuyu        This busy roadside is another place where we can see the impact of the Dairy
              Project along the milk value chain. What we are seeing is a group of women
              who are smallscale milk traders and used to play a game of hide and seek
              with the milk regulatory authorities. But after the intervention of the Dairy
              Project, these women have been trained and now they are able to conduct
              their milk business peacefully, without being harassed by the authorities. And
              what we see now are these women waiting for their money, actually, from the
              milk they delivered in the morning. And they are earning more from the milk

May 2010                                        3                           
           that they are selling. They are happy women now and they are looking ahead
           to a brighter future in the milk trade.

Likuyu     (Vernac) She is Virginia Wamaitha and she sells milk around here. This place
           is called Katito. The most important thing is that they were trained how to
           check milk quality so they are able to check the quality of the milk that they
           are buying from the farmers and they are confident about what they are
           delivering to the consumer. Earlier on they were feeling poor because they
           did not have money, their milk was being rejected or confiscated but now
           since they joined the group they are able to train one another, encourage one
           another, and now that the milk is not rejected the income has gone high. They
           have even formed a small credit facility where somebody can borrow money
           and the money from milk is able to help her to pay back. And they are even
           able to pay school fees for their children.

Likuyu     We are back at the collection centre and now what we are seeing is farmers
           delivering milk, traders and consumers buying what the farmers have brought
           here, and this signifies the importance of this milk trade. The lessons learnt
           during the lifespan of the Smallholder Dairy Project in Kenya are now being
           used to try and improve dairy production in other parts of East Africa and
           particularly in Uganda and Rwanda. And hopefully all the lessons learnt along
           the whole milk value chain are going to be used to improve dairy production in
           the whole of East Africa. End of track.

May 2010                                  4                         

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