Six farmers from Kitinda and Kaptama Dairy Farmers Co-operative Societies engaged in an insightful learning exchange at Githunguri Dairy Farmers Co-operative Society to share lessons and strategies on how to mitigate milk losses and improve quality. The exchange that took place between December 12 and 15, 2023 provided a platform for participating cooperatives to share the challenges around quality management and learn about Githunguri Dairy Farmers Co-operative Societys strategies for mitigating losses across farm practices, collection, and storage. Watch this 6m video impression:
Model Farm Visits
Model farm visits to two distinct farms in Githunguri (Kiambu County) with varying levels of farming intensity and efficiency facilitated a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of commercial dairy farming in the region. The visit exposed the participating cooperatives to aspects affecting milk quality such as scale, investment, and farm objectives. Following peer engagement and learning, the participants engaged in discussions to identify areas of improvement within their own Back Home Action Plans (BHAPs).
Milk Collection and Transportation
Githunguri Dairy Farmers’ Co-operative Society also showcased its milk collection and transportation process, strategies and economic factors affecting logistical operations, including the choice of the most viable transportation model for milk for processing, and approaches to milk loss reduction at the collection centres. Strategies for increased milk quality highlighted include a short supply chain, standardizing milk delivery with the exclusive use of aluminium cans and upholding meticulous digitally-enabled collection procedures, involving rigorous tests conducted by graders before purchase.
Highlighted milk losses at the collection centres primarily resulted from rejection due to poor-quality milk and occasional spillage during milk transportation from collection centres to cooling points. Instances of spoilage from delayed transportation are rare, emphasizing the crucial role of contracts with transporters to guarantee secure and timely milk delivery.
Back Home Action Plans (BHAPs)
The learning exchange culminated in the development of individual BHAPs by Kaptama and Kitinda Dairy Farmers’ Co-operative Societies. The action plans represent a commitment of the societies to turning the lessons learned during the exchange into real, tangible improvements within each cooperative. Key aspects of the action plans include society-respective operational, environmental, and technical challenges and stakeholder roles involved in translating lessons to impact. Crosscutting actions include capacity-building, resource mobilization, proper accounting and record-keeping, policymaking and systems improvement.