Food security and nutrition pose significant challenges in Kenya. According to the WFP – World Food Programme, malnutrition levels remain high, with 29 per cent of children in rural areas and 20 per cent of those living in cities suffering from stunted growth. Even though Kenya has a well-established dairy industry, the productivity per cow is low at an average of four to five litres per day. Building on positive experiences in other countries, Tetra Pak and Tetra Laval Food for Development are implementing a Dairy Hub project together with Tetra Pak’s customer Uplands. The project has already started to see positive results.
Kenya has a well-established dairy industry with a production of 5.2 billion litres of milk annually. This production is mostly generated by smallholder dairy farmers whose population is estimated at 1.8 million. But the productivity per cow is low, which is mainly attributed to poor farm management, inadequate animal husbandry practices and lack of support services.
The establishment of a new Dairy Hub is an efficient way to tackle the problems. Tetra Pak and Tetra Laval Food for Development are supporting our customer, Uplands Premium Dairies & Food, Ltd. (Uplands), located in Kiambu County in Kenya.
Tetra Laval Food for Development is supporting Uplands with farm assessments and technical assistance. The project team is training of a team of extension service officers (ESOs) at Uplands. The training focuses on feed and animal nutrition, milk hygiene, quality, animal health and reproduction. In addition, the project team has started building up capacity on reference farms to showcase best practices in dairy farming. With this knowledge, the ESOs are cascading best practice to more than 7,000 smallholder farms that deliver milk to Uplands.
“We are very happy about the joint work we have been developing in the Dairy Hub project together with Tetra Pak and Tetra Laval Food for Development. This has contributed greatly to the strengthening of our relations with our milk suppliers,” says Francis Nganga, General Manager of Uplands.
The project has already produced positive results. The milk production yield per cow on the initial reference farms has increased 150 per cent from 7.5 litres per day to 18.8 litres per day. Overall, milk collection has grown by 16 per cent in the past year and Uplands’ milk collection cost has decreased by five per cent.
The project started as a private-sector initiative and is now looking for partners to scale up the training services. The objectives are to further increase milk quality, quantity and smallholder farm income. The dairy development initiative also aims to benefit child nutrition in the future by focusing efforts on producing milk for the Kenya School Milk Programme.
A new school milk programme was launched in Burundi with the objective of contributing to the positive health of children, school attendance, and local dairy development. The programme is now reaching 37,000 children in central Burundi and has improved milk production by 43 per cent, with 3,000 new jobs created in rural areas.
Read full article New school milk programme in Burundi for improved child health
School milk plays a role improving enrolment and decreasing drop-out rates among refugee school children in both Syria and Lebanon. The school milk programmes aim to improve schooling for refugee children, in a situation where few have access to nutritious food. The school feeding programmes also attract more refugee children to attend school. Initial results from the programme show improvements in the children’s access to education, learning outcomes, health and well-being. The percentage of students missing school decreased from 8.4 per cent to 4.9 per cent. There was also a noted decrease in overweight prevalence among children.
Read full article School milk improves nutrition and attendance in Syria and Lebanon