Kiwi dairy farming expertise, delivered through a partnership between the New Zealand Government and ChildFund, has led to the opening of another milk collection centre in Emali, which will benefit tens of thousands of people in rural east Kenya.
The Emali Dairy Milk centre has opened in Masimba as part of a ChildFund dairy farming project that has been evolving in Kenya for nearly four years with funds from the New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and Kiwi supporters. The project has created around 5000 employment opportunities in the area.
Farming experts from New Zealand have worked with ChildFund’s local partner, the Emali Dedicated Children’s Agency, local officials and farmers from the Maasai and Kamba tribes around Emali since 2015. Agricultural initiatives they have helped implement include introducing a new more drought resistant fodder and new cattle varieties; extensive training in animal care and basic vet skills; stock husbandry; farm and business management training; and a youth vet club programme.
“Farmers in Emali are as hard working and resilient as their Kiwi counterparts and to know now they can access a sustainable income to provide for their families. The results are truly amazing,” says ChildFund New Zealand CEO Paul Brown.
“This agricultural and economic project we started in Emali in 2015 through local partners and with funds from the New Zealand Aid Programme and our supporters was wanted and needed by these vulnerable communities. The fact that we were able to apply kiwi farming ingenuity and help these vulnerable communities is a great example of what’s possible in community development through smart partnerships.”
In Emali, communities are vulnerable to drought which can destroy their crops and leave families without food and income.
There are now three fully operating milk collection points and two fully operating milk collection centres. The Masimba plant has a 5,000 litre cooling tank, milk testing equipment and an office for managing the intake of raw milk from farmers and ensuring these farmers get paid on time for their milk.
As the farming area in Emali is vast, ChildFund established five facilities so that farmers can deliver the raw milk quickly and efficiently. If a farmer delivers to a nearby milk collection point, it will then be quickly transferred to one of the milk collection centres to be stored in the industrial-sized cooling tank.
Cows and their milk have always been a big part of life in Emali. Culturally, owning cattle is very significant for Maasai farmers. It is said that for Maasai, men own the cows and women own the milk, as the women do the milking and feed it to their children. By developing a milk business where farmers can use their existing livestock and milk supply to earn a regular income, families can now provide for their children (even during drought).
With regular income from milk, children can have three healthy meals a day, their parents can afford electricity, school uniforms and books, go to the doctor and dentist, and give their children the best start to life.
The farmers will continue to work together through the cooperative, continue training, improving their breeds of cows and their fodder. Also, the cooperative’s dream is to establish a fully-operating dairy processing plant where they can pasteurize their milk and make cheeses and yoghurts.
ChildFund New Zealand works directly with and in communities to help them provide the basics children need to thrive, with the aim that one day ChildFund can leave the community self-sufficient to do it themselves. Providing livelihood opportunities is one of the five focus areas for ChildFund, along with education; health and nutrition; water and sanitation and child protection. To learn more about ChildFund’s go to www.childfund.org.nz
About MFAT’s Partnering for Impact strategy:
To learn more about the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Partnering for Impact approach, visit https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/aid-and-development/working-with-us/funding-opportunities/partnering-for-impact-2/partnering-for-impact-a-new-approach-to-partnering-with-new-zealand-ngos/.
Read more about our work in Kenya here
Read more about our work creating livelihood opportunities for families here