In the heart of Kenya's Nakuru County lies a transformative institution dedicated to developing the dairy sector and empowering farmers and processors. Practical Dairy Training Centre Kenya (PDTC Kenya), a subsidiary of the renowned Dairy Training Centre (DTC) in Oenkerk, the Netherlands, specializes in providing practical training in dairy farm management, milk processing, and youth-based entrepreneurship through business incubation including attachment in the Netherlands. PDTC Kenya has emerged as a pioneering force in the region's dairy value-chain landscape by employing a unique blend of hands-on learning, online education, and cutting-edge simulations.
Practical Training and Entrepreneurship for Empowerment
At PDTC Kenya, training is not confined to the traditional classroom. In the footsteps of its parent company, PDTC Kenya embraces a learning-by-doing philosophy, fostering a hands-on training approach that ensures trainees acquire practical skills, knowledge and appropriate attitudes. With a commitment to maintaining a safe and conducive learning environment, PDTC Kenya keeps class groups small, enabling individualized coaching and setting concrete goals for each trainee. This educational philosophy empowers farmers, processors, and other stakeholders in the dairy value chain to drive sustainability and profitability in their operations.
Capacity Building for a Sustainable Dairy Sector
PDTC Kenya's core objective is to build the capacity of dairy value chain actors within the community. Through comprehensive training programmes, PDTC Kenya equips trainees with the essential skills needed for successful dairy farm management, milk processing, and entrepreneurship.
The institution offers courses in dairy cattle nutrition, herd health management, breeding and fertility management, dairy farm economics, young stock management, housing, fodder production and conservation, hygienic milk production, milk processing (yoghurt production and other fermented milk products, cheese, cream, and butter making), business plan development, marketing and other soft skills. These courses cater to a diverse range of dairy sector actors, including farmers, farm managers, extension service providers, technicians, agricultural students, trainers, and lecturers.
State-of-the-Art Training Facilities
PDTC Kenya has partnered with the Rift Valley Institute of Science and Technology (RVIST) to establish two demonstration dairy farms, one housing ten cows and the other accommodating forty cows. These farms serve as practical training centres, allowing trainees to apply their newfound knowledge and skills in a real-world setting.
A state-of-the-art processing plant and a Center of Expertise (CoE) have also been established on the RVIST premises. The CoE comprises thematic sections dedicated to feeding management, milk processing equipment, hoof health management, and more. Notably, PDTC Kenya has secured partnerships with prominent Dutch companies, such as Ante BV, WOPA BV, and CRV, which occupy specific rooms within the CoE. These collaborations foster knowledge exchange and promote the adoption of best practices in the dairy industry.
Technological Integration for Enhanced Learning
PDTC Kenya recognizes the transformative power of technology in dairy training. Leveraging advanced tools and platforms, PDTC Kenya incorporates e-learning modules accessible on mobile devices, online learning tools like Rumen8 for feed-ration calculation, and innovative games like Kucheza, which simulate financial management in a farm setting. Moreover, the institution actively explores the use of the Dairy Sustainability Assessment Tool (DSAT), developed by Wageningen University and Research in collaboration with other partners. By embracing these technologies, PDTC Kenya ensures that trainees receive the most up-to-date and relevant training experience.
PDTC Kenya thrives on collaboration and maintains partnerships with various organizations committed to advancing a sustainable dairy sector. The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) in Kenya, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), NEADAP, Bles Dairies, Delta Dairy Academy, Uniform-Agri, and Kucheza Foundation are among PDTC Kenya's esteemed partners. These collaborations enable PDTC Kenya to expand its reach and impact through joint initiatives, research projects, experience and knowledge sharing. PTDC is actively working on collaborations in the region.
PDTC Kenya has been actively engaged in numerous projects and studies commissioned by its partners. Notably, a study conducted by PDTC Kenya in collaboration with the EKN assessed the knowledge and capacity needs of inseminators in Nakuru and the Directorate of Veterinary Services.
PDTC also took part in a baseline study, commissioned by the Kucheza Foundation, conducted by WUR which assessed the impact of RVIST’s updated Dairy training Modules and business incubation program.
Additionally, “Training of trainers and contextualization of training materials for young dairy farmers and in Nakuru”, implemented by RVO. 2023 is ongoing. These initiatives are poised to drive the transformation of the dairy sector in the region.
PDTC Kenya stands at the forefront of practical dairy training and institutional capacity building in Kenya and the wider Eastern African region. By blending practical training, cutting-edge technology, and strategic partnerships, PDTC Kenya continues to equip its trainees with the skills and knowledge needed for a sustainable and thriving dairy industry. Through its commitment to excellence and innovation, PDTC Kenya continues to empower farmers, processors, and stakeholders, enabling them to shape the future of the dairy sector and contribute to the region's socio-economic development.
For more information about PDTC Kenya
Please Contact Eric K. Kimalit, Manager, PDTC Kenya, Rift Valley Institute of Science & Technology, Nakuru-Njoro Highway + 254 722 427768, firstname.lastname@example.org
Manager, PDTC Kenya
Communication officer NEADAP