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East Africa Dairy Development

EADD partners

The East Africa Dairy Development (EADD) program is designed to boost the milk yields and incomes of small-scale farmers in Africa so they can lift their communities out of hunger and poverty. With help from a $25.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the second phase of EADD will work with more than 200,000 farmers to improve dairy production and access to markets over the next four years.

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EADD II 2014 Progress Report

We are prioritizing four objectives (farmer sustainability, hub sustainability, gender equality, and replication) to benefit an additional 136,000 farm families. Our program employs new technologies and practices around fodder production, alternative energy sources and milk transport systems.

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State of the African Farmer

The State of the African Farmer report has been produced as a contribution to the great debate on agriculture and food security in Africa. It is a compilation of views and voices of farmers, practitioners, policymakers and academics across Africa and beyond, each speaking from the heart and sharing their experience.

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In its first five years, EADD provided extensive training on dairy husbandry, business practices and operation, and marketing of dairy products to the 179,000 farming families in the program. Heifer and its partners also developed 27 milk collection hubs, strengthened 10 existing hubs, and formed 68 farmer business associations to manage the plants. Since then, EADD has grown to be one of the leading market-oriented development initiatives in eastern Africa.

Building on the success and lessons learned in Phase I, the vision for EADD II is to provide an additional 136,000 smallholder farm families the opportunities to create financial independence and social equality. Together with our program partners, we are changing the nutritional landscape in East Africa, one family, one community at a time.

EADD Partners

Strong alliances make sustainable change possible. The success of the East Africa Dairy Development (EADD) would not have been possible without the generosity and expertise of our partners.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

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With help from a $25.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the second phase of EADD will work with more than 200,000 farmers to improve dairy production and access to markets over the next four years.

Elanco

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Elanco, a division of Eli Lilly and Company, shares Heifer's belief that healthy people and animals promote a healthy, hopeful future. In addition to direct support, Elanco has also provided extensive time and talent commitments to EADD II and other Heifer projects.

Implementing Partners

The Situation

East Africa Dairy Development Program initiated in 2008 through a grant by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The program focuses on dairy farmers in Kenya’s Central and Rift valley regions, where milk production is highest in the country.

For years, many small farmers in the region haven't known if or when they could sell their milk, or for what price. They've also lacked the technology, training and market access to grow their businesses. Without a strong infrastructure, there was no reliable system for selling, preserving or collecting milk. Without a healthy market, there was no income, which meant people had little to no access to basic needs like food or shelter, let alone education or health care.

Challenges faced by these farmers include low milk volumes, poor quality of dairy inputs and limited access to markets due to poor roads. The collapse of the Kenya Co-operative Creameries (KCC) in the early 2000s has further compounded the problem. It left many farmers with arrears and few alternative milk markets to rely on. At the start of this program in 2008, these hurdles had caused many to nearly give up on dairy farming.

The Solution

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The Hub Model

A hub model works with several villages in an area with approximately 800 to 1,000 smallholder farmers. They work in close cooperation with dedicated dairy processors, creating economies of scale focused on nutrition, animal health, training and income. Learn More...

EADD has grown into a leader in market-oriented development initiatives in eastern Africa and participating farmers have earned more than $131 million from investments in dairy production and marketing.

Since 2008, EADD has connected more than 203,778 small farmers across Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya to a larger circle of institutions and services that give them the collective resources and necessary infrastructure to earn a living raising cows and selling milk. This, in turn, allows them to educate their children, access healthcare and invest in their businesses.

Heifer and its partners also developed 27 milk collection hubs, strengthened 10 existing hubs, and formed 68 farmer business associations to manage the plants.

The next phase of the EADD program (EADD II) will allow even more farm families to ensure their own health and growth. The change will be felt in future generations as children learn by the example of their parents as successful entrepreneurs. Now people are making their own decisions, growing their businesses and taking ownership of their communities.

East Africa Dairy Development
Distribution hubs have changed the way suppliers have accessed local markets, increasing their income.
A Cow Can Change Everything
See the stories of families whose lives have been transformed through EADD.
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We Need Your Help

Our work in East Africa cannot be completed without your help. Your support will give dairy farmers power over poverty.

Donate to Heifer's Work in EADD II