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How Agriterra has supported IAKIB to develop a strategy on increasing members


IAKIB is a dairy cooperative in Rwanda, officially registered in 2011, but started informally as an association of dairy farmers on October 23th 2003. IAKIB (Impuzamashyirahamwe y’Aborozi ba Kijyambere ba Byumba) has 704 members and aims to increase the production of high quality milk, improve breeds of dairy cows, provide outstanding services to members and reduce poverty by improving the livelihoods of the producers engaged in dairy production. 

The main activity of IAKIB is the collection of raw milk, 38,000 Rwf liter of milk per day which is sold to milk processors in Rwanda. IAKIB is also involved in animal feed processing and selling veterinary pharmaceutical drugs. Besides dairy activities IAKIB has some minor financial services.

Currently, IAKIB is working towards starting processing milk and Agriterra has been supporting the cooperative since 2016 in different activities to achieve their business ambition. One of the activities was mobilization event to increase members.

The reason behind this, was that the cooperative has been collecting milk not only from its 704 members but also from 7000 non-members. Within the 38,000 liters collected per day, only 4714 litres came from the members and not only the supplying farmers had any right on sharing dividends, but also there was a huge risk that if those supplying farmers would have decided to join another cooperative, IAKIB business activities would have been negatively affected. 








During the Cooperative Governance training in Rwanda, the  agripooler Mr Johan Klompe from Royal Cosun encouraged IAKIB to  think on how the share value would be reduced or adopting another  strategy to help the supplying farmers getting full membership as they  were contributing to the growth of the cooperative without having  same rights as members. Again IAKIB had a target to mobilise 1000  new members by the end of 2017, but it was unrealistic to expect that  farmers would be able to pay 

IAKIB was aware that mobilisation of new members was needed but the value of the share was criticized to be high. 

Therefore with the support of Agriterra, the cooperative developed a strategy to reduce the share value from 300,000 Rwf (350 Euros) to 50,000 Rwf and compensate former members of 250,000 Rwf so that all the members maintain equal shares as according the law governing cooperatives in Rwanda and the decision to start mobilisation in different collection zones was taken.

From 20/06/2017 to 13/07/2017, mobilisation was done within 14 collection zones and new potential 5775 farmers committed themselves to buy shares and become members of IAKIB. with new members, IAKIB will ensure sustainability of its business activities. In addition to that, 704 former members who will get a compensation of 250,000 Rwf, have already accepted to re-invest part of compensation which is 150,000 Rwf into the processing plant and only take home 100,000 Rwf.

The journey continues....

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