The Kenyan Market-led Dairy Project (KMDP) has officially closed. It started in 2012 and since then SNV and its project partners have contributed to significant changes in the Kenyan dairy sector.

KMDP aimed to transition the Kenyan dairy sector from one based mainly on subsistence farming to one in that is geared towards professional commercial dairy farmers. The first phase of the project focused on professionalising smallholder production and input services. The second phase aimed to commercialise the sector, moving from aid to trade.

Creating systems change

KMDP has been very successful in achieving these objectives.  It introduced numerous innovations initiating viable service delivery models to small, medium and large-scale dairy farmers. Since 2012, the KMDP project (phase I and II) worked with 35 dairy cooperatives and 4 dairy processors. Milk intake of these cooperatives increased on average by 10% annually, and for the 17 cooperatives under KMDP II, this increase in 2018 alone was 53% (from 15.9 million litres in 2017 to 24.3 million in 2018). Milk production, productivity and income of the many farmers reached by the project increased by 30% or more.

Closing seminar and reception

On Wednesday, 28 August 2019, the SNV and Kenya Market-led Dairy Programme (KMDP) was officially closed with a seminar on foraging and adjoining closing reception. The seminar on foraging was attended by almost 100 stakeholders, including farmers, processors, input suppliers, service providers, research institutions, and representatives from the Kenyan national and county governments.

Andre de Jager (MD Agriculture) with Deputy Head of Mission Martine van Hoogstra

The KMDP project team with Andre de Jager and the Dutch Deputy Head of Mission

The closing reception was officiated by the acting ambassador, Ms Martine van Hoogstraten and the First Secretary Food Security and Water Ms Sanne Willems of the Netherlands Embassy to Kenya, the Ms. Margaret Kibogy, Managing Director of the Kenya Dairy Board, Mr Julius Kiptarus, the Director of the State Department of Livestock, Mr Kenneth Gitonga, the CEO Meru Dairy Farmers Cooperative Union, and representatives from the European Union, Mr David Mwangi Njuru and KALRO Dr David Miano Mwangi. Dutch and Kenyan investors were also present.

Those present commended KMDP’s efforts and results. Private sector actors urged for the project to be continued with additional funding. SNV is exploring ways to continue the activities and build on its successes.