Dairy Program Changing Lives Through Power of Partnerships

October 25, 2012

Pierre Ferrari, the president and CEO of Heifer International, recently shared a story about how the East Africa Dairy Development project is changing lives in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. The project, he writes, is a great example of collective impact, where each partner brings its own expertise to bear on the challenges at hand.

Pierre Ferrari, the president and CEO of Heifer International, recently shared a story about how the East Africa Dairy Development project is changing lives in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. The project, he writes, is a great example of collective impact, where each partner brings its own expertise to bear on the challenges at hand.

The project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is helping one million people – 179,000 families – living on small farms lift themselves out of poverty by helping them produce and market milk in a more profitable way.

Working with Gates, TechnoServe, the International Livestock Research Institute, World Agroforestry Centre and Africa Breeders Services, we are developing 30 milk-collection points for small farmers to join the growing dairy industry in East Africa. The project particularly targets women for both benefits and leadership and implements value chain elements, such as training 10,000 farmers to grow nutritious animal fodder to sell to dairy farmers as supplementary livestock feed.

The project has been so successful, so promising—it’s one of the leading market-oriented agro-livestock development initiatives in East Africa, earning the farming families more than $35 million—that Gates recently awarded an extension grant, and together we are exploring possible expansion into Tanzania and Ethiopia to help another 274,000 families.

Read more from Pierre Ferrari at the Heifer blog.