Milk for India

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Milk for India

Someren, NetherlandsDehradun, India
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Milk for India supports and improves the business of milk farmers in the Dehradun region. Giving them leverage to overcome poverty.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In the Dehradun region only 50% of the milk is produced locally. This means that 50% of the milk has to be imported, driving up the price for the consumers. These need milk as a vital source of protein, since due to religious reasons most of the people are vegetarian. Next to that, the majority of the population lives in poverty and due to the high prices they have limited access to milk. In short the project is trying to solve the shortage of local production of milk in the Dehradun region. By helping farmers improve their work strategies, giving them a fairer price for the milk and creating jobs, we also aim to fight poverty in the region.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

In order to solve the problems of low local milk production in the region the solution is a model farm. This is a fully operative farm, which will serve as an example for local farmers on how to run their farm in a successful manner. Next to that, we will give monthly workshops to the farmers. This will impact the farmers, because they can see how they can change their production process in order to produce more milk. Once the model farm is established the goal is to set up a selling cooperative, that will purchase the milk off the farmers. The goal of the selling cooperative is to purchase the milk from the farmers for a fair price. In this way the farmers will gain more revenue from their cows. Because we intend to teach them in the model farm how to invest these profits, they are given a chance to fight their way out of poverty. Once they have more money to spend and spend it in the local economy, other locals will also be positively influenced.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

A model farm doesn't exist in the region yet. There is another cooperative in our area though, which solely focuses on the gypsy community. They purchase their milk at a set place and time every day, because they want to control their whereabouts and so avoid them destroying the jungle. We are focussing on all the farmers in the Dehradun area, hence, we expect little to no competition from the gypsy cooperative. Next to that, another competitor for the selling cooperative is the middleman, which currently purchases the milk off the farmer at an unfair price. Nonetheless, the farmer has the security of having a solid buyer for their excess milk. By offering the farmers the same security and a better price we hope to get the necessary trust of them to sell us our milk.
About You
The Kembé Foundation
Background Information
First Name


Last Name

van de Weg

The competition is only open to people between 18-34 years-old and resident in UK, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark or the Netherlands. Does this apply to you


Country of residence of entrepreneur

The Netherlands

Tell us about your personal background. Why are you passionate about this issue? Making an idea a reality takes innovation, dedication and strong leadership. Do you have the necessary entrepreneurial skills to realize your vision?

Being a student in the Sociology of Art and Culture no-one would expect me to be interested in social entrepreneurship. They couldn't be more wrong, since I have been wanting to use my knowledge and spend my time to help people in empoverized countries for a long time. I believe that in order to make a change in other people’s lives we should go beyond giving money. When I came across an announcement for the Milk for India project of the Kembe Foundation, I knew I wanted to take part in it. The idea of social entrepreneurship was new for me, but after having seen the impact of the former project, I believe it is the road of the future if we want to solve poverty in the long term. Money only goes to a certain extend, but by helping the economy and giving people skills to help improve their own live the solution is more sustainable.

Having spend a month in India last summer, researching the needs of the region made me even more aware of the grave need for our project to succeed and help these people improve their existence. The visit also gave hope that we could meet our goals. My foundation already had our local partner, but meeting them and seeing what they have already achieved, created a strong bond. Together with them we conducted our research in the area and we are now sure that we have found the right method to make a change.

Our vision is to make a structural change in the Indian dairy industry, focussing on the Dehradun region. In this project I am not alone and I believe that is the key to success. The current team exists out of students from different faculties, that all bring their own experiences and strongpoints to the table. On this solid basis we are building our project. As a student in Sociology of Art and Culture I am the odd bird out in a team mainly existing out of business students. Nonetheless, this means I can bring different skills and orientation to the table, which ensures no side of the project is forgotten. In the end this means that we form a solid and skilled team dedicated to see this project through.

About Your Organization
Organization Name

The Kembé Foundation

Organization Country

, ZH, Someren

Country where this project is creating social impact

, XX, Dehradun

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The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities

Prabat is a farmer who has a small farm in a village in Dehradun. He owns 3 cows who he feeds and milks. He takes some of the milk for the families own daily consumption and the excess milk he sells to his neighbour for 25 rupees per litre. The neighbour takes a short drive to the city and sells the milk for 40 rupees, thus taking 15 rupees profit per litre. The middle man makes a proper living out of this method, but Prabat, who is unable to take his own milk to the buyers, cannot properly care for his family and livestock with the revenues he gets at this moment. He carries on his business, because he also needs the milk to provide his family with the necessary proteins.

Through his village head, which has monthly meetings with our local partner, he is invited to attend a workshop at our model farm. Here he learns how he can improve the revenue from his livestock by investing the little money he has. He sees for himself that by properly breeding, feeding and milking the cows he could get more milk then he does now. Because he sees that it works, he starts to change the way he runs his farm and notices that his cows produce more milk. Even though he still gets underpaid for the excess milk, there is more of it, and his revenues increase.

During the visit to the model farm he is asked to join the selling cooperative. This means he can sell his milk to our project for 30 rupees per litre. He trusts that we will come by every day, since we own livestock and have to sell our milk on a daily basis as well. The profits of his milk go up even more and through attending the monthly workshop, he knows how to properly invest it, in order to improve the standard of his life even further.

His son, Siddarth, that was planning to move to the city to find a job, notices that his father is finally making a proper living out of his cow farm. He then decides to stay around and take over his fathers’ farm once it is his time.

For the society the most important improvement is that more milk is produced locally then the 50% today, which means that the price for the buyers decreases slightly, making the milk more widely accessible. Since our cooperative runs quality checks, the milk is also guaranteed healthy for the consumers.

Since locals are employed for the daily operations and the farmers spend their increased profits in the local market, we also hope that the income of people living in the area will be improved.

Select the stage that best applies to your business

Operating for more than 5 years

Social Impact
What is the social impact you have had to date and how you measure it?

The core social impact of our plan is that we want to give the milk farmers leverage to help themselves out of poverty. Once our project is completed, we can measure the social impact against the current data. So far our research has shown how much milk is produced per cow and what the farmers gain from selling it to the middlemen. We also know that currently 50% of the milk is imported from outside of the region, driving the prices up for the consumers.
For this project we haven’t got any measurable impact yet, but our first project in Haiti is proof of how our project can work. The chicken farm we erected there now provides the region of eggs for a fair price. Next to that, it has created jobs and shows locals how chicken farming can be profitable. In India we aim for a similar result.

What barriers might hinder the success of your business? How do you plan to overcome them?

Trust will be one of the main issues that might interfere with the success of our business. If there is a lack of trust, we might struggle with getting farmers to sell their milk to us, or show up for workshops. We aim to overcome these issues by investing a lot of time in building a trust relationship with the farmers. The model farm will be an important tool in creating this bond. By operating the farm we show them that we know how to run a successful milk business and that we are the right person to tell them how to do it as well. This relationship will also help us in getting farmers to sign up for the selling cooperative.

How does your model address financial, social, and environmental sustainability?

Financial: First and foremost, our model farm will be a self-sustaining business that makes a small profit. This will ensure that we do not rely on the selling cooperative to make money in order to sustain the daily operations. Next to that, our major aim is that the farmers become financially sustainable through our efforts.
Social: Through our project the farmers are given skills that will improve their business and help them gain more profit. This will improve their quality of life significantly, since it enables them to find their way out of poverty. Moreover, if we improve the quality of life of one farmer the effect spirals out into the rest of the area, helping others to improve their situation as well. Next to that, the selling cooperative aims to level out the field between the milk farmer and the middle man and divide the profits of the milk more evenly.
Moreover, through showing that milk farming can be a profitable business we hope to encourage the children of the farmers to stay in the area and continue the work of their parents. In this way we can make sure a steady amount of milk is produces locally, keeping the prices for the consumers affordable.
Environmental:First of all, we will encourage farmers to use the excrements of their livestock in order to create natural gas. Currently,the farmers are unaware of the needs of their cows. In the model farm they will be educated on this issue.

Awareness & learning
How do you see social entrepreneurship contributing to the improvement of developing countries?

Having already completed a project in Haiti and being a charity that solely focuses on social entrepreneurship, I am sure this is the road of the future. Giving money only goes as far as the amount of money given. Once the money is spend the effect is mostly gone or more finance is needed. By using the money to set up a business we create work for some locals, which will then be able to spend more money in their community. The people will spend their money in the local economy and will on their turn enable others to have more financial freedom. In this way the effect spirals through the region.

Next to that, social entrepreneurship in this project is focussed on giving people skills to improve their business. This creates a longer lasting effect, since skills will last a lifetime if managed correctly. Hence, the effect of our efforts nowadays will spiral out into other parts of the region and through generations.

What aspects of your stay in Uganda as part of the competition do you think you will find most challenging and rewarding?

I presume the climate, standard of living and politics of the country might be challenging for me at first. Even though, this is also what drives me in undertaking social entrepreneurship.

My biggest reward will be to get an insight into a long-running social entrepreneurship project in the agrarian field and working side by side with other enthusiasts and locals that benefit from the project. Our foundation also has a strong focus on agrarian projects, since they foresee in the basic needs of the people. I believe that through getting hands-on experience in this project I will also be given interesting insights to inspire me for future projects.

I am also really interested in getting to know the other contestants and of course the Ugandese people. Living in a host family and cooperating with them will give me an interesting insight into their culture and their standard of living and how social entrepreneurship improves it.