We drove out on our motorbikes to visit John Njenga Karinga. John started his own duka (small shop) where he serves 80 customers from his hometown of Kahuruko in Kiambu County. He has owned this store for 5 years and his committed to providing his customers with the best animal health products. John is also a smallholder farmer with two cows and is knowledgable about best farming practices.
One year ago, he started trading with LishaBora and is currently distributing our 70kg Standard and 70kg Premium Jawabu cow feeds. He uses LishaBora feeds for his own cows because of the high quality and the improvement he’s seen in milk production. John was excited to learn that LishaBora will soon be manufacturing it’s own Kienyeji chicken feeds as he knows there is a large market demand for better quality animal feeds.
Watch our Video showing a typical day for a Stockist in Kenya’s informal market.
LB: Tell us a bit about yourself.
John: I was born and raised in Kahuruko and come from a family of smallholder farmers. I too am a smallholder farmer and own two cows, many chickens and harvest vegetables and fruit like sukuma (kale), sweet potatoes, passion fruit and tree tomatoes. I opened my duka five years ago and am currently serving 80 customers.
LB: Why do you use LishaBora’s feeds?
John: One year ago I was approached by LishaBora Sales Team. I was impressed by the high quality of the Jawabu Standard and Premium feeds. I started using the Premium feeds for my own cows and saw a 10L difference in milk production. That’s when I started marketing the feeds to my customers because I wanted to help improve their milk production too. All of my customers are now using LishaBora feeds because of the high quality and ease of payment through credit and loans.
LB: What does a typical day look like for you?
John: My duka is open from 8AM to 8PM Monday through Saturday. Customers come throughout the day, although most come in the evening. They are all smallholder farmers with many acres of land on which they grow tea for leaves for harvesting. They typically finish picking the tea leaves around 5PM and will come after their day's work is finished. Most farmers do not have the cash to pay-up front for goods so they are happy that LishaBora offers the option of credit. In order to purchase feeds on credit, the farmers are required to sign a Contract of Sale so that they understand the terms and conditions.
LB: In addition to cow feeds, what else do you serve your customers?
John: I stock a variety of animal health products including salt blocks, minerals, calf feeds, chicken feeds and cow feeds from other companies. I also provide other agricultural products like seeds and fertilizers. I’m pretty much a one-stop shop for smallholder farmers in the town of Kahuruko.
LB: What else could LishaBora provide for your customers?
John: Many customers have been inquiring about other animal feed products from LishaBora. They are happy with the quality of the feeds and believe it is a fair price since they have actually seen an improvement in their cows’ milk production. I am happy that LishaBora will soon be producing chicken feeds and believe that there is also a market for other animal feeds like for pigs and goats as their dietary requirements are much different than cows.
Takeaway #1: Stockists like John Karinga are pivotal in the informal dairy sector which makes up almost 80% of the entire dairy industry in Kenya! There are over 2 million smallholder farmers in this sector who lack access to formal markets. Stockists like John provide the access for these smallholder farmers to the market of agricultural and non-agricultural goods.
Takeaway #2: LishaBora’s business management mobile application provides a simple way for dairy traders to track their daily milk collections, payments owed to smallholders and debts incurred by smallholders from the micro-loans frequently given out in these rural settlements. By automatically adding up net balances, it frees up time and ensures that there are no errors made which could lead to reduction in profits for smallholders and traders alike. Future implications of the mobile application could be extended for stockists to manage their inventory.
Takeaway #3: By partnering with LishaBora, entire communities are impacted by the increase in milk production. LishaBora provides higher quality dairy meal for cows and quarterly best farming practices training sessions for every smallholder farmer who purchases our feeds.