On October 10-12, 2019, Nuru Kenya and Nuru Social Entreprises (NSE) partnered together to participate as exhibitors at The Agricultural Society of Kenya South Western Kenya Branch Show. The theme of this year’s show was “Promoting Innovation and Technology in Agriculture and Trade” in order to ensure food security in line with SDG #2: Zero Hunger. This event provided an opportunity for Nuru Kenya to showcase and celebrate its efforts through the dairy program over the last couple years.
In 2017, Nuru Kenya launched the dairy program to support farmer access to improved, quality heifers. Through this program, the farmers are properly trained in animal husbandry in order to harvest enough milk to both sustain their household consumption and sell the surplus to meet their families’ economic needs. Part of the proceeds also go toward savings that provides cushion for them during economic shocks. Thus far, 450 farmers have benefited from the program, including Vincent Wambura.
“I look forward to improved milk production of up to 10 liters daily. Two liters will be sufficient for my household consumption, and I will sell the surplus to generate income for my family. This will be an incredible upgrade from the one liter per day that I currently get from my indigenous breeds,” said Vincent Wambura, a farmer from Mariganga cooperative.
Vincent, a farmer and the chairman of Mariganga Cooperative Society in Kuria East Sub-County in Migori County Kenya, was overwhelmed with joy when he received the two hybrid heifers on loan from Nuru. He takes pride in caring for the animals, as he feeds them every morning, gives them water for drinking, and sprays them every two days. They are healthy and promising.
In 2018, Nuru Kenya received a donation of a 3,200-liter milk cooler from the national government through the County Government of Migori Department of Agriculture. NSE has used this cooler in its for-profit social impact endeavors, as it serves as the commercial market conduit, producing value-added dairy products that are inclusive of local, smallholder dairy producers. The primary objective has been to ensure the farmers have a reliable partner in the value chain to purchase their milk at fair and attractive market prices.
To this end, NSE purchases milk from local farmers in Migori County and then processes, packages, markets, and sells branded yogurt to small shops and larger retail supermarkets throughout Nyanza and Western Kenya with a market footprint in ten counties. Yogurt sales facilitate profit margins necessary to ensure ongoing sustainability of the enterprise and investment back into the community. Nuru Yogurt currently comes in three flavors: strawberry, vanilla, and mango, and it is sold in three retail sizes: 150 mL, 250 mL and 500 mL.
The strides made by Nuru Kenya and NSE were recognized at The Agricultural Society of Kenya South Western Kenya Branch Show. One of the largest exhibitions of its kind in Kenya, this event attracted over 1,000 exhibitors and guests and provided an incredible opportunity to network with other organizations and sell yogurt.
The show was officially opened by His Excellency Zachary Okoth Obado, the Governor of Migori County, who visited with Nuru Kenya staff and was impressed by the ripple effect of interventions. His attention was drawn to the fact that Nuru Kenya supports local farmers with access to quality agricultural inputs and improved heifers, capacity building, and links to better markets through NSE.
The governor enjoyed tasting Nuru Yogurt, and he endorsed it in his official speech while acknowledging and recognizing our interventions in the region. Nuru was then awarded with the following trophies:
- The best NGO/CBO Project Stand – 1st Prize for Nuru Kenya
- The Best Local Manufactures Stand (Consumable) – 1st Prize for Nuru Social Enterprises
- The Stand that best interprets the Current Theme Show – 2nd Prize for Nuru Kenya/Nuru Social Enterprises
Nuru Kenya and NSE have worked with both diligence and innovation to support dairy programming, knowing the lasting impact that this program will have on smallholder farmer families, and it is an honor to see those efforts recognized by the larger community.