What is Sidai?
Sidai Africa Ltd is a registered company in Kenya that aims to deliver high quality and affordable veterinary and other livestock services through a network of 150 branded franchises. Each franchise will be owned and staffed by qualified veterinarians, livestock technicians and other professionals. A major emphasis of the company is the promotion of preventative healthcare and improved livestock management to help farmers get the most out of their livestock.
The company is structured as a social enterprise and aims to achieve financial sustainability while also taking livestock services to under-served communities. Improving the access of rural communities to services that improve the productivity of their livestock will help families improve their incomes and welfare.
Why is livestock health and treatment a pressing issue?
In Africa 25% of livestock die each year because of preventable animal diseases yet livestock play a critical role , with 70% of people living on less than US$1 a day are dependent on animals for their income and food security. Improving livestock health is critically linked to increasing the income and welfare of Kenyan livestock keepers.
What are the issues in the livestock sector in Kenya that Sidai will address?
Livestock keepers in Kenya struggle to get access to the quality products, services and advice they need. Most private ‘agrovets’ are concentrated in the dairy sector leaving livestock keepers living in ASAL areas without proper services from qualified personnel.
Many unqualified people run agrovets and often stock under-strength or counterfeit products which are ineffective and they are not able to provide the correct advice that farmers need.
Qualified veterinarians running agrovets struggle to source good quality products and lack access to credit to expand their businesses and serve more farmers. Sidai will source quality products, offer business training and access to finance to its franchisees.
Where does Sidai work?
Sidai’s head office is in the CAFS Centre, Mara Road, Upperhill
The first Sidai franchises are in:
North Rift Region : Eldoret town, Sotik, Kaptumo, Mogotio, Olenguruone, kerio valley, Eldama Ravine, Kabarnet, Kapsabet, Kericho Town, Tinderet, Kitale, Bungoma
North Eastern Region : Garissa town and Garissa Market, Masalani,Ijara, Gither
South Rift Region : Narok Town, Kitengela, Longisa, Mulot, Loita, Ntulele
Eastern Region : Meru Town, Nuu, Nkubu, Ntugi, Kibirichia, Laare, Mutuati, Muriri, Marima, Chogoria, Kithaku and Maua
How many people will benefit from the franchise business?
Sidai will support 150 qualified veterinary personnel (veterinarians and livestock technicians) to gain business skills, access to capital and training in order to establish franchised outlets offering products and services. Over the four years access to quality and affordable veterinary drugs, vaccines, products and services will improve for 300,000 households.
How do you select franchisees?
Franchisees are selected through a process of open recruitment. An advertisement is place in the national press and online job sites. Applicants have to complete a comprehensive application form which is reviewed by Sidai senior staff. Interviews are held with shortlisted candidates to assess their genuine interest to work with smallholder farmers and offer on-farm extension services to a wide range of livestock keepers. Franchises have to demonstrate that they are motivated to serve their community. Both existing business and start-ups are considered.
What support do franchisees get?
Franchisees get a package of support including: access to quality products at competitive prices; business planning and on-going management training; access to finance; branding and marketing support; technical training; access to new products and services as well as new business opportunities.
Where does Sidai get its financing?
Sidai’s first phase of operation has been funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The business model has been developed to become self sustaining.
Why use donor money to start a business?
Sidai is operating in remote and challenging locations such as the North East of Kenya which are not currently served by the private sector. In order to support the costs of serving the needs of marginalised communities in a sustainable manner, without the need for longterm donor assistance, Sidai needs to make money and operate as a business to support these activities. Sidai aims to meet the longterm needs of livestock keepers at the Base of Pyramid and will become financially sustainable by meeting the needs of all kinds of customers from the whole pyramid.
Do farmers pay for Sidai services?
Farmers and pastoralists pay for all the products and services they receive from Sidai. Prices at Sidai Livestock Service Centres are clearly displayed and are set according to the prevailing market prices for that location. Prices are not subsidised. Sidai aims to add value to products sold by offering advice about the correct use of the product. Sidai will offer training to farmers at cost as part of its outreach programme. Sidai believes that farmers and pastoralists are prepared pay a fair price for products that work and services they value.
Isn’t Sidai competing unfairly with local agrovets?
Sidai’s franchises operate in the same local environment as other agrovets and prices will not be subsidised. It is hoped that the success of Sidai’s franchises will serve as an example to other agrovets of how meeting the needs of a wide range of farmers in a professional and ethical manner brings benefits to their business.
How do you ensure that Sidai sells quality products?
The approach Sidai will take will be to identify a small number of reputable suppliers, understand their manufacturing processes and QA systems and ensure they are independently verified wherever possible (GMP status for drug labs etc);work with suppliers on the specifications of products Sidai wants to stock; develop Quality Agreements as part of the supplier contracts including any appropriate independent testing of products prior to purchase (e.g. PANVAC-tested vaccines) and independently test, in quality assured laboratories, any products suspected of not meeting specifications.
Who are Sidai’s partners
Sidai has a range of development and commercial partners.
Equity Bank is Sidai’s financing partner and will help qualified Veterinarians and Animal Health Technicians gain access to loan finance to enhance access to business opportunities.
Sidai also works with the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed) and KEVEVAPI in improving access to livestock vaccines.
Sidai works in partnership with the East African Dairy Development Project.
Are there other livestock franchise businesses in Kenya?
There are no other livestock franchise businesses in Kenya, this social business is the first to combine this social enterprise approach with the livestock services sector.
How will you know if Sidai is effective?
Each franchisee will undertake a baseline survey as part of their individual business plan, this will be used to inform the project’s overall baseline survey. This approach will provide a detailed picture of the situation before the franchise begins and during its trading. Regular interviews with a sample of customers and non-customers will help to assess the impact of Sidai’s services on its customers.
What is different about Sidai and other livestock businesses?
Sidai is structured as a social enterprise with both commercial and social objectives. It aims to take quality services to pastoralists in remote locations where services do not exist.
Who is on Sidai’s board?
The board Chairman is Dr Christie Peacock the founder of Sidai who has over 30 years experience of livestock research and development in Africa and SE Asia.
Members of the board include:
1. Dr Christie Peacock PhD FRAgS, FSB, FRSA, Hon DSc, Chairman and Founder
2. Anthony Wainaina, Managing Director
3. Martin Kariuki, Commercial Director
4. Dr. Ochieng Odede, Technical Director
5. James Mwangi, Finance & IT Director
6. Dr. Diba Dida Wako, REGAL-IR Program Director-Northern Kenya
7.Mr Carey Ngini
8. Mr John Shaw
9. Mr Moses O. Nyabila.
Who owns Sidai?
Sidai is a wholly owned subsidiary of the UK charity FARM AFRICA and Sidai Africa (International) Ltd. FARM AFRICA has set up Sidai as a social enterprise to further its charitable objectives in a financially sustainable manner.
Where can I find more information about Sidai?