CONSULTANT: Design of a modular dairy farm/cow house plan

  • Senior-level, Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 17 July 2014
  • Kenya
  • Closing on 10 August 2014

Job Description





SNV Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) is an international not-for-profit development organisation that provides capacity development services to nearly 2,500 organisations in over 36 countries worldwide. SNV engages with stakeholders at different levels in local economies and agricultural value chains, with the objective to help enhance competitiveness, incomes and employment by inclusion of small and medium sized farmers and SMEs. In the East & Southern African region, SNV operates in nine countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. In Kenya, SNV focuses on horticulture, dairy and extensive livestock, water and sanitation and renewable energy (biogas). In the dairy sector SNV Kenya is implementing the Kenya Market-led Dairy Programme (KMDP).


The Kenya Market-led Dairy Programme (KMDP) is a 4.5 year programme funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The programme started 1st July 2012 and is implemented by SNV Netherlands Development Organisation in collaboration with stakeholders in the dairy industry. The overall goal of KMDP is to
contribute to the development of a vibrant dairy sector with beneficiaries across the value chain. KMDP acknowledges and appreciates that the dairy industry in Kenya is private sector driven. KMDP has two pillars or strategic levels of intervention:

(a) Dairy value chain: Increase efficiency, effectiveness & inclusiveness of the dairy value chain.

In the smallholder dominated dairy value chain, KMDP works in a number of milk sheds with processors and dairy societies (also referred to as milk Collection and Bulking Enterprises or CBEs), who are willing to invest in training & extension and improved input and service provision. Currently SNV/KMDP collaborates with four processors and fifteen dairy societies in Meru/Eastern, Central/Kinangop and North Rift and facilitates design and implementation of more inclusive business models, with an emphasis on embedded Training & Extension services for CBE members/farmers. In addition to that SNV/KMDP provides BDS services to enhance management capacity and governance of CBEs at
their level.

(b) Dairy sector level:
Promote/support interventions/innovations that address systemic issues.

Under this pillar KMDP facilitates innovations and supports interventions which address systemic issues related to e.g. dairy sector policies, feed & fodder, milk quality (e.g. piloting Quality Based Milk Payment systems), access to finance, and practical dairy skills evelopment/training. This also involves supporting the transitioning of the sector from smallholder subsistence farming and dairy production, to commercial dairy entrepreneurship and dairy as core business. In doing so KMDP is engaged in a project with medium and large scale
dairy farmers and commercial fodder producers. The objective of this
intervention is to fast track innovations and adoption of best practices in
total farm management, which is expected to also have spin off to smallholder farmers and CBEs through promotion of business linkages, field days, demos and training.


As part of the interventions at sector level (b), SNV/KMDP supports the
transitioning of the dairy sector to commercialization and “dairy farming as core business”. The dairy sector is the largest agricultural subsector and it contributes to 4% of GDP. Milk consumption per head is one of the highest in SSA and stand at 115 liters per person and in 5 years’ time demand will have surpassed supply. An estimated 80% of total production (estimated at 5 billion liters in 2012) comes from smallholder farmers of which about 50% is marketed. Out of this 25% enters the market as processed milk or milk products. Further
commercialization, efficient and cost effective production as well as
marketing, are required to give a growing urban population access to affordable and safe milk and milk products

With the market as the main pull-factor, the sector is in a transition phase from smallholder subsistence farming with on average 3-4 crossbreed cows selling excess milk only, to dairy entrepreneurs with dairy as core business, investing in 10-20 cows or more of exotic breeds, and in more formal arrangements with service providers and input suppliers and processors.

This segment of dairy farms is of a varied composition in terms of farming systems (zero grazing and semi-zero grazing with pastures) and ownership/management. As for the latter it consists of (a) smallholder farmers – often with off farm employment or income - who have been able to grow their dairy farming business to the next level through ongoing investments, (b) medium and large scale farmers who have “rediscovered” dairy farming as a profitable business undertaking, and (c) investors with good farm land - usually well-off Kenyans with formal employment or on retirement – who invest in dairy farming and often employ farm managers.

Amongst all these groups, knowledge and skills level is limited and there is a great demand for training and other ways of knowledge transfer. SNV/KMDP tries to address this through its VOSD Agenda.

One of the key areas of concern with regard to the knowledge gap is “farm and cow house design”. Considering the fact that investments in physical infrastructure constitute a large part of total investments in developing the dairy enterprise – and in addition to that the performance of the cow in terms of production to a large extent depends on the quality of cow housing (cow comfort) – this is an
issue that deserves attention.

To fill this gap common practice is that farmers or investors copy cow house design from internet and try to adjust these designs - which are usually made for dairy farming in Europe, US or New Zealand and Australia – to the Kenyan situation. Those who can afford travel to Netherlands, Denmark, Israel or South Africa to see for themselves and then copy-paste at home. Others visit their Kenyan counterparts and imitate what these have copied from abroad.

However, usually these farmers and other investors are not aware of the logic and science behind these designs and in most cases the adjustments are sub-standard or – even worse - the (high cost) design is just copy pasted and doesn’t work for Kenya or is too costly.


During the past two years of implementation, KMDP has witnessed a large demand for knowledge with regard to best practice farm and cow house design – attuned to the Kenyan circumstances. KMDP received many requests for assistance.

To address these valid requests and to assist dairy entrepreneurs to invest in cost effective and functional designs, KMDP wishes to invite international specialists in farm and cow house design to develop a simple handbook or manual including basic architectural drawings and bills of quantities for a “typical (semi-)zero grazing farm” with 20 cows in a modular set-up enabling easy and cost-effective expansion to – say - 40-60-80 cows.

This design and the instructions and explanations of the basic principles behind it, should not only target greenfield investments, but shall also have to work for those farmers who have existing structures in place and wish to improve those.

In addition to that under this assignment the cow house design should be understood and implemented than cow housing only, but shall be approached and developed as a farm plan. The farm plan includes the cow housing and all major functions related to this, such as: manure storage, feed/fodder storage, milking parlor, milk storage/chilling, cleaning place for milk cans, office space, storage of veterinary drugs, minerals, AI equipment and so on and so forth, if and as applicable in the Kenyan context and the size of the farm (20-40-60-80).


The scope of work for this consultancy details the work to be conducted by an international consultant(s). This consultant(s) will be supported by a local consultant who will be made available by SNV/KMDP at SNV’s costs and based on a short profile given by the international consultant.

The deliverables of this assignment are summarized as follows:

a) To develop a modular design of a farm plan for a “typical (semi-)zero-grazing” unit with 20 cows and expansion to 40-60-80 cows.

b) To assure that all major functions are part of this farm plan (see above).

c) To assure that the farm plan is designed under Kenya conditions for optimum cow comfort, labour efficiency, flexible and scalable (modular), environmentally sound, simple and cost efficient.

d) This design should be accompanied by a farm plan layout on scale and detailed drawings for the major functions, preferably also in 3D.

e) To make recommendations on the use of (locally available) building materials and appropriate technologies that are available - or can easily be made available and adopted - in the Kenyan context.

f) To prepare a condensed bill of quantity and costing of the structural design.

g) To develop a simple manual with instructions and clarifications that explain the major principles of the design (the why’s and how’s) as related to amongst others: cow comfort, logistics, hygiene and health, feeding, milking, cow groups (milking cows, dry cows, calves, etc.), labour efficiency, environmental impact.

h) To give examples by means of photos and illustrations of best and worst practices identified in the Kenya context on selected farms.


The starting date of this consultancy should be not later than 15th of August 2014 and the final documents as per the scope of work and the deliverables stated above shall be submitted before 15th of October 2014.


The consultant’s proposal should contain the following information:

a) Company profile and capability statement.

b) Track record in farm and cow house design in an international context.

c) List of clients and/or publications.

d) CV(s) of appointed consultant(s).

e) Methodology for implementation of the assignment.

f) Number of days required by the international consultant or consultants in home country and in Kenya.

g) Professional fees of the consultant or consultants per day and DSA.

h) An estimate of costs for international travel/visa. All local transport in Kenya will be at SNV’s costs.

i) Other costs related to production/photo materials, architectural costs, etc.

j) A profile of the local consultant(s) required to support the international consultant and number of days to be used. All costs for the local consultant – including his/her professional fee, travel and accommodation, will be catered for by SNV who will appoint and contract the local consultant at its own terms.

k) The starting date and the end date of the field work. The final date or deadline for submitting all the deliverables of this assignment.


a) The consultant(s) shall have a proven track record in farm and cow house design and/or publications on the same in an international context.

b) The consultant(s) has good understanding and knowledge of commercial small and medium sized dairy farms/farming in Asia or Africa. Preferably he/she has knowledge of the Kenyan/East African dairy production.

c) The consultant has ability to translate best practice technologies in international dairy farming and farm design, to local circumstances. This implies amongst others ability to way and balance cost efficiency and profitability of investments and proposed technologies and design vis-a-vis local costs of production factors and profitability of dairy farming.


Please send your proposal and the names/CVs of the proposed
consultant(s) for the successful implementation of this ToR, by clicking the APPLY tab here before 10th of August 2014 with reference to “ToR Farm/Cow House Design” as cover letter title.


For more information about SNV Kenya please refer to our website:

Similar Jobs