MWDL is a 100% farmer owned limited liability company whose main objective is to collect, bulk, process and market members’ milk in the Kenyan market. The company is situated in Mukurwe-ini sub-county of Nyeri County in Kenya. MWDL was officially established in November 1990 as a Self Help Group. It started with 5 farmers who on the first day supplied 32 kg of milk then. Since then, the company has grown in lips and bounds to currently receiving and fully processing approximately 40000 Kgs of milk per day. The company’s vision is to grow and become the most efficient farmer business organization in Africa, enabling her farmers to maximize on their efforts and eradicating poverty completely from their area of operation.
From its inception to July 2014 the company used to collect, bulk, cool and market members’ milk to processors and the rest sold through their numerous milk bars located then in Mukurwe-ni, Nyeri and Nairobi in raw form. As at January 2017, MWDL had an active membership base of 6300. In 2011, there was glut in milk supply throughout the country that coundn’t be absorbed by the market. Therefore, MWDL had to pour down close to a week’s supply of milk from the farmers. This made them think seriously about the dream they’ve had of valorizing the milk.
Agriterra and MWDL started its partnership in the second half of 2012. It was clear then that the goal of MWDL was to valorize their members’ milk and compete with other processors in the formal milk market. Agriterra therefore through an Agripool mission assisted MWDL come up with a bankable business plan that has since been implemented and tangible result inform of a processing plant realized in July 2014 when the first packet of Royal fresh (brand name for MWDL’s processed milk) hit the market. Since the inception of the partnership to realization of the processing plant and thereafter taking Royal fresh to the market, Agriterra has been able to support MWDL in five other key areas in addition to the business planning; i.e on governance, production, extension, marketing and financial management.
On Extension, Agriterra has had several advice missions and long internships periods to MWDL to specifically set up and strengthen the extension department. In fact before, the partnership, MWDL did not have an extension department which Agriterra helped to set up and thereafter strengthen it to now that they have seven full time extension staff. Part of the support in this area was to jointly formulate the extension strategy, document it and support MWDL on implementation. On production and marketing, Agriterra supported again the company using Agripool missions to come up with the factory layout, setting up and installation of the machinery and later on in solving the few teething challenges that cropped up post installation and also in designing the route to market strategy for positioning, branding, promoting and distributing Royal fresh. Agriterra did also support in exposing the new production and marketing managers to new processing and marketing technologies through an exchange visit. On governance and financial management, the support to MWDL has been through tailored trainings and exchange visits/study tours to even the Netherlands to learn on best practices as well as tailored follow-ups on key recommendations from trainings and such visits.
The result of all these being a sustainable and progressive MWDL that now has its eyes fixed on growing and competing with established brands in the dairy sector in Kenya for her to sustainably guarantee a stable and fair price to the members.