IIED: Lessons in informality from Kenya's dairy sector

Informal markets are at the heart of many developing country economies, but how can authorities work with the informal sector? A training and certification scheme for Kenya's informal dairy sector provides valuable policy lessons...

 

Kenya's informal dairy markets are central to the livelihoods, food security and nutrition of the majority of its citizens, particularly the poor, women and children.

Kenya's informal dairy market is significant in size – 86 per cent of Kenya's milk is sold by unorganised, small-scale businesses in informal markets or consumed directly at home. The sector generates 70 per cent of the 40,000 jobs in dairy marketing and processing (PDF).

IIED has been working in partnership with the International Livestock Research Institute in Kenya to explore the impacts of efforts to govern Kenya's dairy sector in a way that works with, rather than against, informal, small-scale milk vendors. We looked at the impact on milk vendors, on food safety and on sustainability, with the findings published in the final briefing in a series on innovations in policy approaches to informality.

Our research offers lessons for key stakeholders in the Kenyan context, but also for policymakers in other developing countries where informal economies are at their heart.  

 

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