Business is booming.

Nuru Kenya’s dairy program empowers female farmers

By George George Idowu

In 2017, Nuru Kenya launched its dairy program to diversify livelihoods and bolster local food systems.

This program, which is a component of Nuru International’s larger plan, uses sustainable farming methods to give rural farmers more power. Among those benefitting is Mary Joel, whose life has been transformed by this program.

Mary Joel, a member of the Ikerege Farmers’ Cooperative Society, joined Nuru Kenya’s dairy initiative in 2018, acquiring a heifer through a cooperative loan. Mary explains, “The cow has given birth, and we sell milk to the cooperative and our kids’ school.”

Training on dairy management and artificial insemination provided by Nuru has significantly boosted her milk production, allowing her to pay for her children’s education and improve her family’s financial stability.

Nuru Kenya Social Enterprises (NKSE) plays a crucial role in this transformation by aggregating milk from farmers and processing it into yogurt and lala, ensuring a steady market for their produce. NKSE handles an average of 14,000 liters of milk monthly, distributed across five Kenyan regions.

Mary’s journey, however, is not without challenges. Leasing land is difficult. She explains that when landowners see a good crop, they frequently refuse to renew leases and reclaim the land for themselves.

Despite these obstacles, Mary’s resilience and the support from Nuru have enabled her to start her own business and manage household expenses confidently.

Nuru’s programs, including financial literacy and regenerative agricultural practices training, have not only improved crop yields but also restored soil health, ensuring long-term farming sustainability. Mary’s success story underscores the impact of Nuru’s gender-transformative approach, which elevates women in household and community decision-making roles.

Through initiatives like these, Nuru International strengthens local food systems, supports household resilience, and empowers women, driving sustainable change in the fight against extreme poverty.

Mary however advised young female farmers to “Join a savings group and a cooperative, and learn about savings and household management.”

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