Across the Collective, Nuru establishes or revitalizes farmer organizations – unions, primary cooperatives, or farmer associations – to unite communities around shared socio-economic goals. Through this central structure, smallholder farmers gain access to high-quality inputs, training venues for continuous learning, durable links to markets and finance, and secure digital financial services. Nuru provides these farmer-owned and operated agribusinesses with training in organizational leadership, good governance principles, and financial management, which help them to become increasingly professional and profitable. Together, these organizations are sustainable and powerful vehicles for change in the community, developing and strengthening local and regional supply chains to improve food security, reinvesting increased profits into local health care, education, and other community services, and recruiting even more farmers.
Dairy Cooperatives in Kenya
For many Nuru farmers in Kenya this year, the uncertain and seasonal nature of crops in a particularly difficult year prompted diversification into dairy farming. This transition enabled many to stabilize their incomes this year and move from subsistence farming toward farming as a business. Through 16 dairy cooperatives, Nuru Kenya supported professionalization, providing artificial insemination services, tick control through weekly spraying, vaccination against disease, and targeted training. Nuru Kenya Social Enterprises (NKSE) also played an important role in growing dairy production this year, establishing cooperative aggregation centers and coolers. On average, NKSE processed nearly 6,000 gallons of milk per month into yogurt and a local dairy drink called lala, providing a nutrient-rich food source to the region.
Union Cooperatives in Ethiopia
Hidota and Esipe Dicha Unions, two Nuru-supported cooperative unions in Ethiopia grew significantly in 2021, allowing Nuru Ethiopia to expand their reach to serve 119 primary cooperatives and over 18,194 member farmers. This organic growth has provided the unions with greater visibility, access to markets, and an improved ability to deliver social benefits to members and communities.
As a professional and productive "sustainability engine", Hidota Union:
- achieved a net profit margin of 3.1%, despite both COVID and national conflict
- was selected for the IKEA Social Entrepreneurship-Acumen East Africa Accelerator Program and later awarded a $25,000 grant from the sponsor companies,
- built working relationships with national and international partners, and
- provided grain to nine districts in Ethiopia, called woredas, or districts, that help children in school access safe, varied, and nutritious food.