Case study 2: The Hub model, Heifer International

Kamwosor Centre Village, Keiyo County, Rift Valley Provence, Kenya Cynthiah Kipkorir (left) and Felix Kibet, both clerks at the Metkei Multipurpose Company Limited, inspect milk in Kamwosor Centre village on Monday May 16, 2011.

Inspecting milk in Kamwosor Village. Credit, Heifer International.

With long term support from Heifer International in Kenya (HPI-K), the viability of the ‘hub model’ has been re-established, following previous attempts to form cooperatives, which were unsuccessful due to corruption and mismanagement.[1] A hub, in this case, is an economic centre of a farming community, insuring effective marketing of farm products into better paying urban markets, and bringing in farm supplies and services needed by the community.[2] The hub model is an approach that utilises a profitable agribusiness centre to support a network of businesses by delivering supplies and services to farmers within the network.

Farmers organise themselves into dairy farmer business associations which market the milk collectively. Any surplus milk that a farmer produces is taken to the collection centre through a network of local transporters. The centre tests, filters, and chills the milk, and then sells it on to processors. The centre can offer more favourable rates because they are processing larger volumes of milk and quality is controlled all from one source. Ultimately, individual dairy farmers find it easier to access inputs, services and facilities for bulking and cooling raw milk leading to increased incomes.[3]

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