TECHNICAL COOPERATION PROGRAMME
the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Before the processing and sale of milk in Kenya was liberalized in 1992, the dairy industry had been dominated by Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC), a parastatal purchasing milk from many of the country's 400 000 mainly small-scale producers. Since liberalization, a growing number of small and medium-sized producer organizations and individuals has reduced deliveries to KCC and entered the processed milk market.
Many of these new dairy entrepreneurs had little or no previous experience in the handling and processing of milk for the rapidly expanding Kenyan market. The Government therefore sought assistance from FAO to provide the knowledge and skills required to process and market wholesome dairy products.
This assistance was approved by FAO on 25 January 1996 under the Technical Cooperation Programme project TCP/KEN/6611, Training Programme for the Small-scale Dairy Sector. The contribution from FAO was $US 365 000. The project, with a planned duration of 23 months, started in February 1996 and was completed in December 1997. The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock Development and Marketing (MOA) was designated the government agency responsible for project implementation, which was guided by a Project Steering Group representing the chief stakeholders in the small-scale dairy industry, including producer organizations, the private sector, women, the newly formed Kenya Dairy Processors' Association (KDPA) and the Kenya Dairy Board (KDB).
The objective was to develop and design the organization of short-term, tailor-made training courses at Naivasha Dairy Training Institute (DTI) for persons and organizations involved in milk collection, transport, processing and marketing in the small-scale sector to improve efficiency and quality throughout the milk chain.
The target was to train 90 persons and to support dairy sub-sector reform. The project was also to work closely with the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), long associated with FAO and dairy training in East Africa.
A participatory approach to project implementation was pursued to promote national ownership of the training programme and to foster sustainability. Special emphasis was placed on team-building at the DTI, on ensuring that training reflected dairy industry needs and was financially self-sustaining, on gender balance and on interacting with other ongoing dairy sub-sector initiatives.
DANIDA has provided assistance for the process of sub-sector reform since 1990. It was agreed that the TCP project would play a supporting role in advancing the reform process centred on dairy training.
A nationwide training-needs assessment survey was conducted in 1996. More than 50 milk-producer groups, dairy cooperatives and private-sector processing units were visited. Practices were observed and owners, management and employees consulted about their training requirements. The views of government field staff, retailers and consumers were also obtained. The key findings were as follows.
Small-scale milk processors ranged considerably, from the low-cost "Jua Kali" (backyard or open-air milk processing) category with throughputs of 50 to 300 litres per day (lpd) and the semi-"Jua Kali" category, with 300 to 2 000 lpd, to larger, purpose-built, capital-intensive dairies using imported equipment, with throughputs reaching 15 000 lpd. In addition, many milk dealers and vendors were selling raw milk, often of dubious quality, in urban areas.
Many "Jua Kali" processors were highly innovative, adding value to processed whole milk and "maziwa lala" (traditional soured milk) products sold through their own shops or kiosks. Most smaller operators used locally-produced polythene pouches to package products, while larger operators used paper board cartons or polystyrene cups, often imported. The shelf life of most products was relatively short, owing to poor raw milk quality, treatment processes and distribution and point-of-sale handicaps. Fresh pasteurized milk usually had a refrigerated shelf life of two days and cultured products of five days.
Of major concern to small processors was the type of processing equipment to be used and where to acquire it. Many also had difficulty in raising capital to develop their enterprises.
Although many processors employed staff who had either attended conventional courses for school leavers at the DTI or had worked for KCC, all expressed the need for shorter-term training focused on practical knowledge and skills.
Women's milk producer groups functioned in a number of areas, although more men than women were employed by processors. The key groups of employees requiring training were milk reception staff, plant operators, quality control staff, maintenance technicians and salesmen. The majority were literate and had received a basic education.
The priority training subjects included the following: a knowledge of clean milk production, hygiene and handling; milk collection and transport; basic milk processing and preservation; the operation and maintenance of key processing equipment such as coolers, heat treatment units, fillers, etc.; the operation and maintenance of service equipment, especially boilers and refrigeration units; the production of cultured milk products such as "maziwa lala" and yoghurt, with special emphasis on starters; the processing of products such as butter, cream, novelty milks, ghee, ice cream and, particularly, cheese; the distribution and marketing of milk and milk products including advertising, merchandising and sales promotion; and business management, finance, planning and bookkeeping.
Many processors requested in-house and refresher training for staff at their own processing units, especially in general milk handling and hygiene, as well as training in clean milk production for their suppliers. All the processors consulted indicated their willingness to share the costs of training, although some producer groups indicated that this might be difficult initially.
Since the reformed KDB has a mandate to promote dairy training under the new Dairy Industry Bill, it was considered essential to involve both the Board and the newly-formed KDPA in the training programme. The DTI was also earmarked by the MOA to introduce the dairy training diploma course being phased out by Egerton University.
A milk marketing survey was conducted in Nakuru District to corroborate feedback from the needs assessment exercise. The information gathered was used to develop the training module on milk marketing.
It was clear that the DTI would have to adapt its training philosophy to the dairy industry's manpower development needs. The in-service training approach was thus based on providing mature trainees with practical processing skills and knowledge through five-day residential courses at Naivasha and two-day outreach courses at the client's premises. It was felt that this type of training would also equip trainees to compete more effectively for jobs and promotion. The training was offered to both medium and small-scale processors.
The courses were conducted from April to September, during the annual DTI recess period, and the administration and accounting system was incorporated into the existing DTI system. Owing to legal obstacles, it was not possible to open a bank account to manage course accounts as a first step in achieving semi-autonomy at the DTI and courses were run on a cash basis. For the same reason, the DTI demonstration dairy could not be run on a commercial basis as first planned.
In order to establish financial sustainability, and in line with recent changes in government policy concerning the involvement of employers in training, it was agreed that participants would contribute 50% of course costs during the pilot 1997 period.
The following six modules were selected for the pilot programme: hygienic milk handling and processing; milk testing and quality control; dairy equipment maintenance; cultured milk products; cheese making; and milk and milk products marketing (including basic business management skills).
A prospectus for the training programme was developed and distributed to potential dairy industry clients. Curricula, detailed lesson plans and materials, including a set of six processing guides, were prepared for each module. The guides were also distributed to milk producer groups and processors through KDB, KDPA and MOA field staff. Audio-visual equipment and a computer system were provided to upgrade DTI teaching and teaching material preparation facilities and to establish the outreach training unit.
Since the course modules focused on providing trainees with hands-on skills, the DTI teaching dairy was renovated and a small-scale milk processing demonstration unit established. This comprised a locally-made wood-fuelled pasteurizer, a small milk cooler and, since most "Jua Kali" processors use low-cost flexible plastic packaging for their milk, an innovative in-pouch milk filling/pasteurizing/cooling system. Developed in South Africa, this system is easy to install, operate and maintain and improves the hygienic quality and refrigerated shelf life of pasteurized milk to up to two weeks. A womens' dairy group in Coast Province has ordered one unit.
A study tour for the Project Steering Group was organized to Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland to visit medium and small-scale dairy enterprises, dairy equipment manufacturers and training institutions. The tour was jointly funded by DANIDA.
To spearhead training during the pilot phase, a trainers' training workshop was held for nine lecturers from the DTI, focusing on the adult learning approach to be used for teaching the courses and on building team-based communication skills. Provincial Dairy Officers also attended in order to foster awareness and cooperation at field level, uniting with the trainers to form the Dairy Training Team. External specialists were used to provide industrial experience.
Seven five-day residential courses were held during the pilot period, with those dealing with hygienic milk handling and processing, milk testing and quality control and cultured milk products proving the most popular. A total of 83 trainees, sponsored by 37 client organizations or private dairy companies, participated. Private milk processors and producer cooperatives sent three-quarters of the trainees, only 16 per cent of whom were women. Since most came from the small-scale sector, 40% were at supervisor level or above.
Five private or cooperative-sector clients, with milk throughputs ranging from 300 to 50 000 lpd, used the outreach service in 1997. Each session provided on-the-job training for the Dairy Training Team. A total of 180 employees participated, 32% of whom were female.
To assist with targeting prospective clients for training courses, a database of potential dairy industry clients was compiled and stored at the DTI, in collaboration with KDB, KDPA and MOA dairy extension field staff. Almost 150 producer organizations and private-sector companies are now registered. As the dairy industry is undergoing rapid change, the database should be reviewed and updated annually.
The system designed to attract clients to the residential courses worked moderately well. Of the 128 dairy industry clients who applied to sponsor trainees to the courses, 83 (65%) joined. Although the programme was advertised in the national press and through the KDB and KDPA, a number of clients had problems communicating with the DTI about the exact course timing. To improve communications, a facsimile machine and an electronic mail terminal were installed at the DTI towards the end of 1997, also enabling the DTI to be connected to FAO's "Dairy Outlook" and "Dairy Bulletin Services" electronic dairy information systems.
The delay in publishing the first issue of the Maziwa (Milk) News newsletter, originally scheduled for March 1997, also contributed to poor course publicity. The first issue was not published until November, after completion of the courses. Maziwa News was eventually distributed to all dairy sub-sector stakeholders, including those on the database described above. All Dairy Training Team members were trained to use the desktop publishing programme.
A video based on material filmed during the pilot period was produced by the DTI to promote the training programme. To help processors obtain information about medium and small-scale dairy equipment manufacturers and suppliers, both domestic and foreign, a Directory of Dairy Equipment Suppliers was compiled in collaboration with the KDB and the KDPA and distributed with the first edition of Maziwa News to all the companies and organizations listed in the DTI database.
An ongoing monitoring and evaluation system was built into the training programme. The pilot period was reviewed at an evaluation workshop in December 1997. A total of 20 participants attended, drawn from the DTI Dairy Training Team, Dairy Officers from each province and private and cooperative-sector milk processors who had participated in the training programme. Resource persons were drawn from the DTI, KDB, KDPA and the Project Steering Group. The key points are summarized below.
The short courses were deemed to be relevant to dairy industry needs. They should continue to be run as five-day courses in order to make them affordable to self-financing clients. No new course subjects were proposed, but it was felt that practical work should be increased. In order to enhance the quality of milk supplied by smallholders, the training module on hygienic milk handling and processing should be expanded to include aspects of clean milk production, public health and good feeding practices for dairy cattle. Contacts with prospective clients need to be improved. A fee structure that reflects the actual cost of running each individual course should be introduced and made known to prospective clients. DTI accommodation facilities should be upgraded. In order not to interfere with regular DTI courses, the short courses should continue to be run during the annual April-to-September recess period.
The two-day outreach courses should continue in the format evolved during 1997. Costs should be based on actual costs, with travel distances taken into consideration. Transport for the unit should be reliable. As the number of outreach courses depends on demand, the DTI should actively reach out to clients in the field.
Based on the above conclusions, an outline course schedule for 1998 was proposed by the workshop. The DTI was requested to hold an annual review workshop to exchange experiences and to maintain contact with clients in the field.
In the Government's Eighth National Development Plan for the period 1997-2001, promotion of the dairy industry is given the highest priority as it has potential for creating employment, particularly in processing and distribution. Competition in the industry is to be encouraged by providing incentives for private-sector investment in milk processing.
The drafting of a new Dairy Industry Bill to ensure a competitive policy framework for the industry and to strengthen the Kenya Dairy Board has been completed. The Bill includes a mandate for the KDB to foster dairy industry training. The Government intends to enact the bill in 1998, following a final review of the sub-sector policy framework.
This review is currently under way. A stakeholder workshop, sponsored by DANIDA, was held in November 1997 at which a draft dairy policy document was discussed. With regard to training, the document recognizes that the emergence of many new medium and small-scale processing plants has increased the demand for trained manpower and that the dairy industry, including the private sector, needs to play a more active role in training. The document also states that the DTI will be granted semi-autonomous status to enable its training to be commercialized. The policy document will be submitted to the Cabinet, prior to presenting the new Dairy Industry Bill to Parliament.
The project team participated in the drafting of both the dairy policy document and the Dairy Industry Bill.
At the end of 1996, the project supported the Government/DANIDA team carrying out a dairy industry manpower study. The team recommended a DANIDA-financed follow-up project aimed mainly at upgrading the DTI to diploma course level and at building on the in-service tailor-made training programme initiated by the current project. A further DANIDA mission visited Kenya in 1997 to draft a project document for the "Support to the Dairy Training Institute, Naivasha Project". The project will have a duration of three years and is provisionally budgeted at DKK 9.02 million ($US 1.4 million), excluding technical assistance. It was originally scheduled to start at the beginning of 1998, immediately after the completion of the TCP project. As a result of the December 1997 parliamentary elections, however, this was delayed.
At the time this statement was written, the training action programme for 1998 had been drawn up, with course fees based on full cost recovery. Although the lead time between advertising and starting the 1997 courses was very short, the number of applications was encouraging, indicating a real need for tailor-made courses for small and medium milk processors. The direct involvement and active support of the dairy industry at large, especially the private sector, boded well for sustaining this type of self-financing, industry- driven training in future. Nevertheless, the DTI and the Dairy Training Team need to increase investment in publicizing the programme if it is to become financially self-sustaining in the longer term.
The time invested in preparing the Dairy Training Team at the DTI paid off. The team tackled the first season of short and outreach courses with enthusiasm and responded well to the requirements of industry-driven in-service teaching, very different from those involved in teaching longer-term school leavers.
Overall, the liberalization of the dairy industry in 1992 has had a beneficial impact on the small-scale dairy sector, particularly on milk markets and prices. Producer welfare has improved as a result of higher real prices and timeliness of payments. This has led to shifts in market outlets for producers and the emergence of many new processors. Not surprisingly, consumers have also benefited from a wider range of more competitively priced dairy products.
The recommendations have two main aims: to consolidate the in-service training programme and activities of the Dairy Training Team and to build on the progress achieved to date at the DTI until the follow-up DANIDA project begins. They therefore focus on the immediate post-project period.
The training action programme for 1998 should be implemented by the DTI. The Project Steering Group should continue to guide implementation of the 1998 programme, at least until the DANIDA follow-up project commences. The DTI should also consider coopting private-sector members onto its Management Council to ensure training is attuned to dairy industry requirements.
Owing to the poor condition of many rural roads, a fully serviceable four-wheel-drive vehicle should be made available by the MOA to support the out-reach training programme. Additional DTI lecturers and staff should be given an opportunity to participate in the Dairy Training Team. Considering the important role played by women in dairying and the relatively small numbers attending some of the five-day residential courses, the DTI should encourage more women to attend. This could be achieved by allocating a fixed number of places on appropriate course modules.
The DTI should also be more active in reaching out to prospective clients and following up enquiries and applications for the training courses. As the Maziwa News newsletter is one of the key tools in the communication process, the publication strategy plan developed to sustain the newsletter should be closely followed. In this connection, and in collaboration with the KDB and the KDPA, the DTI should update the dairy processor database annually. The DTI promotional video should be used extensively to promote the training courses. The Dairy Equipment Supplier Directory should also be updated annually and published in Maziwa News.
To improve the keeping quality of milk marketed by small-scale processors, as well as to reduce capital costs, the DTI and the KDB should collaborate to sponsor "Jua Kali" fabrication of the simple in-pouch milk filling-pasteurizing-cooling system demonstrated by the project.
In order to advance the training commercialization process it is recommended that the MOA give priority to legislation, granting the DTI semi-autonomous status. A first step in this process should be to authorize the DTI to open a bank account for its in-service training programme. This would enable income from course fees to be used directly to sustain the programme. In addition, efforts should be increased to obtain consent to operate the DTI dairy plant, including the small-scale demonstration unit, on a commercial basis.
While the change to a liberalized market has stimulated competition, leading to a rise in the number of milk processors and the consequent demand for new types of training, it has also brought about increased sales of raw milk in urban areas by itinerant traders (hawkers), along with the attendant health risks. The main reason cited for this trend is improved producer welfare brought about by higher milk prices and more timely payment. Reports in 1997 estimate that over half the milk marketed in urban areas is now sold untreated, compared with a negligibly low figure before liberalization.
These changes need to be understood and exploited to improve the milk marketing system in Kenya. Meanwhile, it is recommended that the KDB and KDPA mount an advertising campaign to educate consumers about the potential risks of raw milk and the benefits of safe handling and processing. As hawkers are likely to be present as market intermediaries for the foreseeable future, ways and means should also be found by the KDB to educate and train hawkers under the DTI in-service training module on clean milk handling and processing.