This paper presents a case study of politics of policy reforms in the dairy sector in Kenya with particular reference to the Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC). It is developed for the Policy Processes sub theme of the Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC).
This case study considers one notable reform within the agriculture sector that has been undertaken by the NARC government: the revitalisation of Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC) in 2003. The revival of KCC is widely perceived as a successful intervention in the country's dairy sector, albeit one that is somewhat at odds with the emphasis within the (subsequent) SRA of reducing the role of the state in Kenyan agriculture. The study, based on a review of secondary literature sources and newspaper archives plus interviews with key informants in the Kenya dairy sector conducted in early 2007, discusses both the economic and the political context within which the revitalisation of KCC took place.
The discussion underlines that political environment is important for policy change. Conditions need to be „right‟ for policy changes to take place. Political will to undertake change and implement it is equally important. It is argued here that the political changes that followed the coming to power of the NARC government in 2003 presented an opportunity for political transformation. There were changes in policy making and implementation. These were effected by the new government in its quest to make its mark and meet the challenges of a political euphoria that accompanied its electoral victory. The intervention in the dairy sector, through the revitalisation of KCC had both political and developmental (economic) objectives.
The paper proceeds as follows. We start with a brief conceptual note on the politics of policy reforms, then review the development and performance of the dairy sector in Kenya from the colonial period to the present. This provides the context for the discussion of the politics of the revitalisation of KCC in 2003. We conclude by drawing lessons from this experience.