Supporting Women in Leadership Roles
The USAID Kenya Dairy Sector Competitiveness Program (KDSCP) has helped to transform the Kenyan dairy industry into a globally competitive, regional market leader by increasing smallholder household incomes by more than 200 percent through the sale of quality milk. A key component of the program was to challenge the existing gender norms and increase the number of women in leadership roles.
Land O’Lakes International Development applies an integrated approach to international economic development that capitalizes on the company’s 90 years as a leading farm-to-market agribusiness. The company uses practical experience and in-depth knowledge to facilitate market-driven business solutions that generate economic growth, improve health and nutrition, and alleviate poverty. Land O’Lakes champions a ‘light-touch’ approach for strengthening local capacity to deliver business services that helps achieve sustained success and lasting impact.
The U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Kenya Dairy Sector Competitiveness Program (KDSCP) has helped to transform the Kenyan dairy industry into a globally competitive, regional market leader by increasing smallholder household incomes by more than 200 percent through the sale of quality milk. KDSCP worked to eliminate inefficiencies, and lower production and processing costs throughout the dairy value chain, while at the same time ensuring that Kenyan milk meets domestic and international quality standards. The program also targeted women, youth and HIV/AIDS-affected households as active participants.
KDSCP conducted activities to increase the sector’s competitiveness in the regional marketplace, encourage storage, packaging and safety standards, improve the policy and regulatory environment and foster better environmental stewardship. Specifically, the program organized small-scale farmers into dairy cooperatives and other community-based organizations in order to increase their bargaining power and incomes. The program also assisted those organizations to create processing plants and distribution systems, and partnered with processors to create and market new value-added products such as flavored yoghurt.
Participating farmers were educated about ways to increase productivity, for example, by using high-quality formulated feeds and productivity-enhancing technologies like Artificial Insemination. In addition, trainings were held on ways farmers can maintain a green and clean environment; for example, trainings on disease control emphasized proper disposal of pesticides and medical waste, and the utilization of animal waste for clean energy like biogas.
Using a “light-touch” business development services approach, KDSCP linked Small Business Organizations (SBOs) to inputs and services that helped them expand their businesses more quickly. The program also connected financial service providers directly with farmers to facilitate lending and expanded investment in the sector overall.
KDSCP intentionally addressed many issues that uniquely affected Kenyan women.
- Many women hold KDSCP leadership roles
- Holds trainings close to homes; encourages women/single people to own cows
- Women encouraged to join cooperatives; trained in expressing experiences
- Coops give men and women equal opportunity to profit; speak with one voice
- Men encouraged to allow women to apply for women-friendly loans at lower interest rates
- Payment in-kind for milk through cooperative store: funds books, school fees, etc.
Chief of Party
Telephone: +254 20 374 8685
Julius Kilungo, AOR
Agriculture, Business and Environment Office
Tel: +254 20 862 2702