TechnoServe Partners with Heifer to Help East African Dairy Farmers Break the Cycle of Poverty

East Africa Dairy Development program will help farmers double their incomes by establishing cooling plants and improving links

JANUARY 25, 2008 — Washington, DC: TechnoServe is partnering with Heifer International on the new East Africa Dairy Development (EADD) program, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

During EADD’s initial four-year pilot phase (starting this month), TechnoServe, Heifer and the International Livestock Research Institute will work with about 180,000 small-scale dairy farmer families – roughly one million men, women and children – in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. The program then has the potential to expand to reach as many as 350,000 additional families, which equates to nearly two and a half million people.

EADD’s primary objective is to double the income of these farmers, through increases in the volume of milk produced and marketed; improvements in quality, and greater access to finance and agricultural supplies.

TechnoServe’s primary role is to expand the dairy industry and increase market access by helping dairy farmers to establish chilling plant hubs where milk can be bulked, cooled and marketed. The centers will link the farmers to processors and develop businesses that ensure a steady, cost-effective supply of goods and services to farmer groups.

TechnoServe’s involvement in EADD builds on the organization’s proven expertise and history of success. “We have been working in the Kenyan dairy sector for the past eight years, and have developed a unique and very effective chilling plant hub approach,” says TechnoServe president and CEO Bruce McNamer. “The TechnoServe model empowers dairy producers, transforming the industry from a subsistence mindset to a commercial mindset.”

Last year, Nyala Dairy (a TechnoServe-assisted cooling facility in Kenya) bought milk from 3,700 local small-scale farmers, with total sales of more than $2 million. Nyala’s economic impact has indirectly benefited more that 20,000 local residents.

TechnoServe has 40 years of experience in private-sector development, including working with farmer groups to gain access to steady and dependable markets to which they can sell their goods.

About TechnoServe: TechnoServe helps entrepreneurial men and women in the developing world to build businesses that provide jobs, income and economic opportunity. Since its founding in 1968, the U.S.-based nonprofit has helped to create or expand more than 2,000 businesses, benefiting millions of people in more than 30 countries. TechnoServe has been recognized as one of the world's “Outstanding Social Entrepreneurs” by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. In 2007, Charity Navigator also once again awarded its highest Four Star ranking to TechnoServe.