Sophia Ngatia, dairy farmer from Kuresoi is saving more than Sh200 boda boda transport cost daily translating to Sh6000 a month by selling her milk to a cooperative society at her farm at Sh30 a litre than transporting the milk to Molo Town for hawking at Sh40 a litre and still incur other losses due to risks of milk spillage.
She has four lactating Friesian cows which produce between 23 and 25 litres of milk each per day giving her about 100 litres of milk per day. She sells these to agents from Star Light Cooperative Society (SLCS) of which she is a member. The agents come daily to collect the milk from her farm.
“I prefer selling my milk to our cooperative because they save me the hustle of transporting milk to town where I am not even sure I may sell or not sell the milk at all,” said Sophia.
“I also find it as a way of supporting the growth of our cooperative which help us reach markets and save our milk from spoilage.”
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Milk delivered to SLCS is recorded on a daily basis depending on the number of litres delivered by every farmer then the farmers are paid at the end of every month.
Sophia is also the chairperson of Kangawa Upendo Group, the group through which she entered SLCS which was launched in 2014 and has over 200 members currently from other farmer groups such as Kirima and Nyakinya.
To register as a member of SLCS, individual farmers from these groups are required to buy shares worth Sh5000 each, the amount which can be paid in monthly instalments or deducted from the milk sales to the cooperative at the end of the month till the amount is fully settled.
“We do not find it difficult buying the shares because we are allowed to pay in small amounts or the amount can be taken bit by bit from the monthly payments from the milk we deliver until all the amount is fully cleared,” said Sophia.
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She earns a total of about Sh90,000 from the 3000litres of milk she delivers to the cooperative in a month.
Other than providing markets for farmers’ milk, SLCS also organise trainings for their member farmers in Kuresoi by bringing in experts and agro input companies to teach farmers and offer them farm implements.
“So far we have benefited from trainings offered by agricultural officers from Nakuru County, experts from Juudi Kilimo, Tular Inputs, Musoni Kenya and we are still expecting Economic Project Transformational Facility (EPTF) which has promised to come and train us on climate change issues.”
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Other than milk production, members of SLCS are also involved in production of crops such as potatoes, vegetables, tomatoes and fruits among others.