Family Group Foundation and Heifer International Kenya have inked a multi-billion shilling aimed at building capacity for small scale dairy farmers in three East African countries.

The project dubbed East Africa Dairy Development Project (EADD II) is set to help 136,000 small-scale dairy farmers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania achieve sustainable livelihoods, with almost half the number, 58,000 coming from Kenya. The programme, currently in its second phase, is funded to the tune of Ksh2.3billion from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and supported by Family Bank Limited, Kenya Orient Insurance Limited and Nyara Farm.

“This partnership lays credence to what the Foundation hopes to achieve; improve and transform lives through developmental programmes. We will work with Heifer International and EADD II partners, to contribute to the realization of development objectives under the EADD program in Kenya,” said the Family Group Foundation Executive Director, Ms Annie Muya.

“EADD II will further refine and improve the hub approach, partly through focusing more on building social capital, and partly through actively pursuing partnerships with and investments from local processors, the financial sector and other private sector players to increase hub sustainability, thereby readying this approach for scale by other public and private entities,” said Regional Director for the East Africa Dairy Development Project, Rakesh Kapoor.

In the first 5-year phase, EADD worked with farmer community groups that organized them into business Producer Organizations (POs) that manage dairy chilling plants. This has helped them gain knowledge on high quality milk-production hence getting a fair share in the formal market.

The associations act as business hubs, providing farmers with access to services like agricultural inputs, transport, training, insurance, advances, animal health services, finance, credit and health care.
[crp]

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