Dairy Hub Creates Opportunities in Kenya

November 15, 2012

Jeff Raikes, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, tells the story of visiting a village in Kenya where Heifer International and TechnoServe partnered to establish a milk chilling plant.

In an article for the Skoll World Forum, Jeff Raikes, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, explains the foundation’s approach of using philanthropy to catalyze change and benefit individuals. He tells the story of visiting Ol Kalou, a village in Kenya where Heifer International and TechnoServe partnered to establish a milk chilling plant through a Gates Foundation-funded program. The plant provides a market for more than 3,000 smallholder dairy farmers, but Raikes was especially impressed by the additional services, such as banking, feed supply and veterinary care, that were part of the dairy “hub.”

In Ol Kalou, I met a couple, David and Lucy.

They used to have three cows, but they sold two so they could send their daughter to college, where she’s working on a degree in hotel management.

Thanks to the dairy hub, David and Lucy have access to local markets so they can sell the milk their cow produces and earn more income.  They are working with an agricultural extension agent who is helping them practice proper husbandry, which will triple their milk production. Through the chilling facility, they’ll be able to store, then sell, that surplus.

This innovative partnership could make the difference between David and Lucy’s daughter graduating or running out of tuition money.

It was a small thing, maybe. But for David and Lucy, the ramifications were a happy and rewarding future for their daughter.

Read more from Jeff at the Skoll World Forum.

 

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