Dairy cooperative societies are significantly central to sustainable development of dairy sub-sector as they are mainly intended to empower the communities. Dairy farmers have relied more heavily upon cooperative societies to market their milk than have farmers of any other value chain (commodity). Despite the robustness of dairy cooperatives in Kenya, sustainable development of dairy sub sector varies among counties. This study therefore sought to establish the role of dairy cooperative societies in sustainable dairy development in Kenya. A descriptive survey design was used in the study and data was collected using questionnaires and desktop research review. The study sampled dairy co-operative managers, livestock production officers, co-operative officers from the County Government and dairy cooperative members. Results showed that benefits to smallholder farmers accruing from dairy cooperative societies are not evenly distributed. Assured market and improved income had moderate scores while access to information and ability to save and budgeting/planning had least scores. Services mainly offered by dairy cooperatives in Kenya included milk marketing and milk collection. However, cow insurance services are the least offered. The results also established that interaction between dairy cooperatives and other actors in the dairy value chain is instrumental in the achievement of sustainable dairy development in Kenya. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats Analysis of dairy cooperatives in Kenya revealed that despite the existence of weaknesses and threats such as importation of dairy products and inadequate infrastructure, exploitation of existing opportunities using inherent strengths among dairy cooperatives would enhance sustainable development of the dairy sub sector. The study recommended identification of constraints affecting the performance of dairy cooperative societies and options available to enhance dairy cooperative societies’ benefits.
Keywords: Roles of dairy Cooperatives, Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats (SWOT), Sustainable Dairy Development
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