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Daily Nation : February 13th 2014
8 money enterprise Barely a year after eliminating the profitsapping middlemen, Wecha Dairy Cooperative Ltd in Nakuru has seen its members earnings almost double BY RACHEL KIBUI @rmkibui email@example.com in Bahati, Nakuru County, is reaping dividend after forming a cooperative society. For decades, the members A had learned from the best. The small-scale dairy farmers sold their produce through middlemen and private processors, earning peanuts. It was amid this suffering that about 50 farmers came together to market their produce through a community based organisation which they later turned into a cooperative society. Today, their proceeds have almost doubled, just a year after joining hands. In 2012, Wecha Dairy Co-op- erative Limited was established with an aim of freeing farmers from Wendo and Chania sublocations from the grip of the profit-sapping brokers and private milk processors. By selling milk as a group, MOST OF THE WOMEN COME TO COLLECT MONEY AROUND THE TIME CHAMAS’ CONTRIBUTIONS ARE DUE.” Sebastian Kamau close to 200 farmers are now enjoying the fruits of their decision: “We used to sell a litre of milk at Sh19 to processors while brokers bought at Sh17 for the same volume,” said Mr Sebastian Kamau, the cooperative’s chairman. Through their network, the smallholder farmers are now fetching as much as Sh32 per litre of milk. According to Mr Kamau, the cooperative has secured a sustainable buyer, Jolly Farm, a Nakuru-based dairy products company. “We sell the milk at Sh40, and pay the farmers their dues while the rest is spent on running the Thursday February 13, 2014 DAILY NATION PAYMENT» BUSINESS PAYS FARMERS ON WEEKLY BASIS, ASSURING THE WOMEN OF CASH TO HONOUR ‘CHAMA’ DUES Dairy farmers beat brokers to wealth PROFILE ^Name: Wecha Dairy Co- operative Limited established in 2012. ^Membership: At first it was formed by 50 small-scale dairy farmers around Bahati, Nakuru County. ^Achievements: Increase group of dairy farmers price per litre of milk from Sh17 to Sh40. Signing of a trade deal with Jolly Farm, a milk processor in Nakuru. Acquisition of 5,000-litre milk cooling plant last year. The group got Sh8 million Wecha Dairy Cooperative Limited chairman Sebastian Kamau. After decades of exploitation by milk brokers, the dairy farmers from Bahati in Nakuru united to get better prices for their produce. SULEIMAN MBATIAH I NATION cooperative,” he told Money. For decades, Mr Joseph Kiragu, a dairy farmer and member of the group had been a ‘slave’ of milk brokers: “They would buy the produce from me at a price they dictated regardless of how much profit I would make.” And as if that was not enough, the brokers would tamper with the capacity of the containers they were using to buy milk in order to accommodate more volume. That way, a five-litre container would end up accommodating at least six litres yet Mr Kiragu just like the other farmers would be paid for five litres. “I had no alternative yet dairy farming has been part of my life,” he said. Through the cooperative so- ciety, however, he is now able to make over 10 times what he used to realise before. His monthly income has increased to Sh34,000 from Sh3,300. As she collected her last week’s pay, Ms Rose Wangui was all smiles: “I used to lose between 0.1 and 0.2 litres of milk per litre when selling to brokers,” she said, adding, “currently, my produce is measured ‘digitally’ meaning I get what is due to me.” Other than seeing her income rise, Ms Wangui can now access 5,000 Capacity in litres of a cooling plant that Wecha Dairy Cooperative bought AGEMENT » PATRICK WAMEYO kills should be in step with the in-moment ur knowledge into skill h” we highlighted the wealth as the result of any population opter options in life. In hat their “fear of the he impediment to imn of wealth ideas is espon their ignorance of s.” To join the shorter e wealthy, especially atch, you must do zman Wynton Marsalis ng in the moment.” amiliar song “When Go Marching In,” has want to be in that n the saints go marchne epitomises being in the moment. Building knowledge starts with turning a flash light of an opportunity in the mind into information search to confirm it and eventually daring it to churn out your personal experience even when you are the first person to dare travel the distance. Engage and change Creating knowledge is the first step in building unending stream of wealth. Speaking of creating, some small reminder from the jazzman Wynton: “It’s harder to build than destroy. To build is to engage and change.” When you know it, then you can do it. For example, when 24-year-old Mark Zuckerberg conceived in his mind the software that could map his fellow students by their hostels in Havard University, the hard work of turning the flash of light into a global product had just started. Facebook has been developed extensively after its launch, from user experience, rather than just the founders’ genius. You, the user has given the team of its programmers more insights of what he merely imagined and they have captured your aspirations realtime. People who surely desire wealth are not afraid to be in the “number”, when the saints are matching in. Indeed, it is their unmatched desire to be in the possession of new knowl- edge that inspires them — knowledge they eventually turn into a money minting skill exclusively until copy cats emerge to cut down their market size. Wealth is produced from products interacting with forces of demand and supply in their markets — knowledge of the forces and how to manipulate them in your favour overtime is essential for sustainable wealth. An idea is transformed into knowledge (experience) which is then is turned into a skill through its daily application to generate profits. — Patrick Wameyo is a financial literacy educator and coach. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org animal feed and mineral supplement for her cows on credit. Women, according to the cooperative chairman, have been benefiting for taking their payment on weekly basis, a system that sees them meet their regular contributions at chamas and other investment schemes where they are members. Like in many places, women in this area run chamas but they would spend money each time milk brokers paid on daily basis, in turn defaulting the weekly payments. “Most of the women come to collect money around the time chamas’ contributions are due,” said Mr Kamau. Last year, Wecha Dairy Co- operative was among 15 smallscale groups which benefited from Micro Enterprise Support Programme Trust, an organisation that gives financial assistance to milk farmers. grant which was spent on buying a 5,000-litre cooling plant and other equipment. Part of the money has also been used in training community members on the need to sell milk as a group rather than as individuals. The cooperative has 104 members at the moment and other 80 farmers are currently on contract terms awaiting to be roped in the business on fulltime basis. The cooperative manage- ment has plans to put in place mechanisms that would see farmers access loans as well as artificial insemination and other dairy farming services at affordable costs. The cooperative also has an alternative income stream as it manufactures milking jelly which is sold at Sh100 per 200 grammes against the prevailing market price of Sh250 for the same volume. “We want to raise the living standards by ensuring that dairy farmers make maximum income from this business,” said Mr Kamau. He asked the county govern- ment to repair roads in the area noting that most of them are impassible especially during the rain seasons.
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