Dairy Dreams and Determination: Margaret’s Path to Transforming Dairy Farming in Eastern Kenya

Dairy Dreams

Margaret Mutie is the founder of Ndalani Farm Produce Limited in Machakos County, Kenya. Margaret’s entrepreneurship journey started as a travel consultant, a business that was disrupted due to the growing trend of online ticket booking.

She needed to find a new path, and that’s when improving her family’s dairy farm – that she had established in 2012 as a part-time venture – came to mind. She sold her travel agency business and decided to focus on growing her dairy farm and producing raw milk.

However, she faced challenges in the dairy industry, including low milk prices and the lack of nearby processing facilities. This is where her entrepreneurial spirit ignited.

In 2019, with the proceeds from the sale of her former business, personal savings and a bank loan, she decided to add value to her milk as well as that of other milk producers in her community who struggled to access reliable markets. She established a processing and pasteurising plant, creating Ndalani Farm Produce Limited- whose goal is to provide affordable and quality dairy
products to the border Eastern and North Eastern Kenya region.

‘’I am glad that during this time I had some savings to purchase the machines I needed to set up the factory, because accessing the bank loan was a very lengthy process and I only managed to access 50% of what I applied for since the bank needed extensive collateral which I did not have.’’

Now Ndalani Farm Produce Ltd employs a team of 15 dedicated workers and is expanding its distribution channels to reach more customers. Being one of the few dairy processors serving Machakos, Makueni, Kitui and Garissa counties, Margaret is focused on making her products both consistently available and affordable to the community she serves and has relied on her refrigerated trucks to deliver her products to last-mile vendors.

She is also training her suppliers – the majority of whom are women and youth – on best practices for milk production to ensure she has a reliable supply to meet her demand.

Through the Agribusiness Survive to Thrive Programme run by AMI in collaboration with Aceli Africa, Margaret learned about the importance of record-keeping, the value of customer feedback to build customer loyalty, and listening to and developing her team. These lessons along with the networks she made in the programme significantly improved her ability to scale her business.

Margaret has great ambitions for the future. She looks forward to setting up an ERP system and also installing solar panels to reduce the cost of production.

“We can barely satisfy the demand for quality and affordable dairy products in this region. I am excited about what the future holds. I look forward to accessing more funding to accelerate the growth as we now have the structures to support our growth thanks to AMI”.

To read more stories in our 2023 Impact Report click here: ‘10 Years as an African Champion for Africa’s Business Champions’.

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