A new partnership has emerged in Uganda between a dairy farmers’ union and the IFDC project 2SCALE, giving farmers the organizational strength to forge a new path forward and form linkages with private firms operating in the country. The union, United Crane Creameries, boasts a membership of around 20,000 farmers organized into 140 primary cooperatives. The union’s infrastructure is already quite large, with 10 milk trucks, 95 milk chillers installed at the primary cooperatives, and 20 new chillers awaiting installation. As of now, construction on a state-of-the-art processing plant is underway, and the product line is expanding to include UHT milk and yogurt, products that have a longer shelf-life and therefore more marketability.
2SCALE will assist United Crane Creameries by applying the experience it picked up in Kenya to help its new partner expand operations. One key area where 2SCALE expertise applies is finance. United Crane Creameries will need assistance establishing links with equity or debt financiers to enable the union to purchase processing equipment. Another area of support is factory design. 2SCALE has established contacts in the Kenyan and Dutch industries that could act as consultants. 2SCALE will also employ its technological resources to share extension messages and market information with farmers through mobile phone SMS (text) messaging.
Finally, 2SCALE staff will help tailor dairy products for school feeding programs and advise on marketing campaigns targeting low-income consumers. Farmer mobilization and training will focus on four districts in the mid-west corridor, aiming to build skills in animal husbandry and feed and fodder production, as well as enhance “soft skills” to improve the functioning of farmer groups.
This post is part of our blog series on new entrepreneurs and start-ups partnering with 2SCALE in East Africa. Once a month, we will highlight the stories of farmers, traders, and producers who take on the challenge of exploring the agricultural marketplace in new and exciting ways. Stay on the lookout for inspiring stories like this one and let us know what you think!