The United Nations Development Programme – Africa Facility for Inclusive Markets (UNDP-AFIM) has declared its interest to support EADD Project. Discussions are underway to provide USD 150 000 grant to pilot test innovative cooperative driven advisory/extension services programs that demonstrate the benefits and value of collaborating with other value chain actors like processors , input suppliers, banks, public extension programs.
Since the decline of government-sponsored extension systems, little attention has been given to rural agricultural advisory services.
This is a challenge for small holder farmers because productive dairying requires skills that most farmers lack such as application of feed technology, diagnosis of diseases, milk handling and quality etc.
To meet this need, EADD project has already mobilized innovative extension service structures embedded in cooperatives/ farmer organizations. The aptly named hub based extension services consisted of over 750 extension advisors, 535 animal health workers, 320 AI technicians and 109 agrovet shops by close of 2011. Thus the grant shall build on already existing efforts and towards building the capacity of cooperatives in business development services, setting up extension services and agrovet shops across the districts and setting up new chilling satellite centres to collect milk and linking them to markets and processors.
It is envisioned that this will build an efficient value chain, thereby transforming the lives of farmers to create a vibrant dairy industry that contributes to the economic transformation of the countries in the region.
According to Moses Nyabila, EADD project Regional Director, the 1 year UNDP grant will make part of a consolidated fund which EADD is mobilizing from key development partners including bilateral organizations and governments, and that will support establishment of cooperative driven extension services. The UNDP-AFIM partnership will pilot in Uganda and Kenya.