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Githunguri Dairy: How 31 Dairy Farmers Contributed Sh1 Each To Establish Multi-Billion Dairy Society

Kenya has the highest per capita milk consumption in sub-Saharan Africa at 110 litres, according to theconversation.com. A separate report by J A Odero-Waitituh, states that the dairy sub sector in Kenya contributes about 8% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with an annual milk production of 3.43 billion litres. The number of active processors in the country are about 30, with Githunguri Dairy Farmers Co-operative Society Limited being among the most successful. 

In this article WoK looks at the growth of a co-operative that was founded by 31 farmers.

Establishment

Githunguri Dairy Farmers Co-operative Society Limited was established in 1961 by 31 dairy farmers with the aim of revolutionising the sector. The farmers contributed Sh1 each for every litre of milk they sold to register the co-operative that has grown to be worth billion of shillings. 

The company has grown to have over 26,000 registered members and its collection centres expanding from one to around 68. In 2004, the company established its own milk processing facility which led to an increase in size and profits. Two years after the facility began its operations, the processor was awarded the most improved company in Kenya at the National Company of the year awards. The company has grown to handle about 270,000 litres of milk in a day making it the third largest dairy company in Kenya.

Dairy Products

The company produces the Fresha milk brand which is popular among tea lovers across the country. It produces the Fresha yoghurt, ghee, butter, cream, maziwa lala and purified fresh drinking water. The company also owns the Zito brand which includes Zito milk, Zito long-life milk and Zito yoghurt that retail in major outlets across the country. Fresha milk is the company’s most successful product and has won several awards and received ISO certification in 2012, the COYA awards in 2013 and attaining the superbrand status in 2018. Fresha and Zito brands command an estimated market share of 15 percent according to Business Daily.

Success

In the 2019/2020 financial year, Githunguri dairy registered a turnover of Ksh8.2 billion compared to the Ksh 7.3 billion of the previous financial year. Speaking during the 60th Annual General Meeting, George Kinyanjui who is the Chairman explained that the average daily milk collection was 200,000 litres. With the company recording a Ksh900 million rise, farmers earned a bonus of Ksh 122.1 million from Ksh 116 million and dividends of Ksh 31.8 million.

Leadership structure

Githunguri Dairy Farmers Cooperative Society is led by a board of nine directors and three supervisory committee members who are elected at the annual general meeting (AGM).They include George Kinyanjui who is the Chairman, Mr. M. Kariuki who is the Vice Chairman, Mr. J. Ndichu who is the treasurer and Mr. Thaithi who is the secretary. Board members include Mr. Kihumba, Mr. G. Gitau, Mr. J. Mwaura, Mr. J. Ndwekia and Mr. P. Kang’ethe. The two supervisory committee members are Mr. P. Kinyanjui and Mr. J. Karanja.

The company is expected to hold its annual general meeting (AGM) today 15th October 2022 at the Githunguri stadium. The success story of Githunguri stadium impressed the Narok senator one Ledama Ole Kina who said he was inspired by them and would duplicate that in his home county.

“I am proud of the work Githunguri Dairy has been doing in Kiambu County. Last year alone they processed 87 million liters of milk and made a minimum of Ksh 9.5 billion. Tomorrow they will hold their annual AGM at Githunguri stadium. We are learning slowly and will follow suit. God bless,” he wrote on his twitter page on 14th October 2022.