Agriterra, in collaboration with SNV Netherlands Development Organization through the TIDE2 project is creating an environment that fosters access to more appropriate and sustainable access to agri-finance products. This is done through strengthening SACCOs to offer affordable and longer term finance to dairy farmers among other members in different value chains.
The respondents were asked about the challenges they face when running their enterprises and the majority (38%) face financial challenges which affects their ability to meet their capital and operational costs, (25%) said their biggest challenge is access to genuine inputs which affects the quality of their products, (19%) sited access to markets while (18%) said it was lack of technical support with limited extension advisory services available.
In order to establish their skill levels in managing dairy enterprises, the respondents were asked to gauge their skill levels in the areas of record keeping, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, business planning and management and animal husbandry. Majority of the respondents lacked skills in record keeping with only thirteen (13) respondents rating themselves as having good, very good and excellent skills in this area, followed by animal husbandry with only twenty five (25) respondents ranking themselves as having good skills in that area and followed by financial literacy with only twenty six (26) respondents having knowledge in this area. This could be an indication to offer training in record keeping, animal husbandry and financial literacy as part of the dairy product.
Insurance is an important ingredient when offering any credit products, more so, agriculture related products. Feedback from the respondents shows that (61%) are already aware about insurance and only (39%) have not accessed any insurance product as shown in Fig.24 below.
Asked about their experience dealing with the low milk prices as a result of the covid-19 pandemic, (29%) said they almost failed to pay their outstanding loans, (21%) sold their milk at the low prevailing market rates, (14%) closed their businesses while (13%) used the milk for home consumption.
The project conducted an assessment that came up with specific recommendations among which were the need to refine/develop specific agri-finance products with the ultimate goal of boosting the diary sector in the region. Agitera contracted AMFIU to support 3 SACCOs to