Warehousing improves access to credit and markets in Kenya
SNV’s Procurement Governance for Home Grown School Feeding project seeks to address many of the challenges faced by smallholder farmers in entering the public school feeding market, including access to equipment and infrastructure to improve trade and storage capacity. With the special equipment and access to a warehouse members of the Laikipia Produce and Market Cooperative Society in Kenya are now better equipped to participate in the school feeding supply chain.
SNV funded a digital platform weighing scale and a super pro moisture analyzer, recommended by the East African Grain Council (EAGC) who specialize in certification of warehouses, for the Laikipia Produce and Market Cooperative Society. These two machines are critical to the commercial success of the cooperative as it will now be able to buy and store grain in bulk with minimal product loss.
The cooperative, with the assistance of the EAGC and SNV, was able to negotiate in optimal terms the rent of a warehouse to store their bulk product. Having a large and secure storage of grains will allow the cooperative to better sell and distribute goods to markets like the schools, which demand large quantities with predictable frequency.
The cooperative applied successfully for the Warehouse Receipt System (WRS) certification, awarded by the EAGC, that allows the cooperative to give farmers a voucher upon delivery of their product. The voucher can be used as collateral for a bank loan worth half of the value of the product held within the storage unit. With this initial boost, the bank and the cooperative can continue their relationship apart from SNV’s sponsorship.
As a result of these and other project initiatives, the Laikipia Produce and Market Cooperative Society has sold $1,317 worth of foodstuffs to the school feeding market in Kenya, while increasing their competitiveness to sell to other markets as well.