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Tropentag, September 20 - 22, 2017 in Bonn

"Future Agriculture: Social-ecological transitions and bio-cultural shifts"

Enhancing Skill-Sharing within Multi-Stakeholder Processes: An Example from the Small-Scale Dairy Chain in Kenya

Ann-Kristin von Saurma-Jeltsch1,2, Margareta Lelea2, Brigitte Kaufmann2

1University of Kassel, Fac. of Organic Agricultural Sciences, Germany
2German Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture (DITSL), Germany


The small-scale dairy value chain, comprised of smallholder dairy farmers, mobile traders and retailers in milk bars, plays a major role in Kenya's food security. As much as 80% of the country's milk is marketed through this chain, and it is sold at about half of the price of milk sold in the supermarket. Yet members of the small-scale dairy value chain face several challenges, such as limited coordination, high seasonal fluctuations of milk supply, and the need for context-specific information. To overcome these challenges, this study analyses skill-sharing between the different actors of the small-scale dairy value chain to create diverse benefits both from the learning process and from improved practices.
Data was collected in Nakuru, Kenya from November 2016 until February 2017 through participatory methods, including small-scale dairy multi-stakeholder platform meetings, peer-to-peer exchanges, group trainings, and narrative interviews. All activities were conducted with between 13 – 16 people.
Coding this qualitative data offers results about the information needs of the stakeholders, types of information exchange and what stakeholders learn from the process. To create value in low-external input systems, the stakeholders needed different types of information, such as botanical knowledge for diverse cropping systems, an understanding of the qualities of different affordable insulation materials for making yoghurt, etc. Additional the stakeholders augmented their critical thinking skills through information exchange in peer-to-peer visits. Both the benefits of the learning process and the benefits of the activity of focus are presented.
The study shows that the collaborative learning process was mutually beneficial for the stakeholders, despite their different perspectives, interests and information needs. This research further confirms that collaborative learning processes are particularly important for actors working in low-external input systems that require highly context-specific information and practices.

Keywords: Multi-stakeholder platform, skill-sharing, small-scale dairy, value chain improvement

Contact Address: Ann-Kristin von Saurma-Jeltsch, University of Kassel, Fac. of Organic Agricultural Sciences, Steinstraße 21, 37213 Witzenhausen, Germany, e-mail: ann.saurma@gmx.de

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