A government building


Heifer collaborates with national governments in 19 countries to create scale and implement solutions led by smallholder farmers and local partners.

Our programmatic model is focused on implementing solutions led by smallholder farmers and local partners, working closely with national government partners, and aligning our work with the governments’ agricultural development plans. By collaborating with national governments and key ministries, Heifer ensures that the work we do is grounded in the governments’ strategic goals for the agricultural and economic developmental sectors.

Our assistance and collaboration with government includes strategic planning, provision of technical assistance and building capacity of government managers and implementers to ensure more effective delivery of development assistance to the agricultural sector. The overarching goal for our work with governments is to reduce poverty and enhance resilience for poor rural households while improving food and nutrition security and incomes through better performance of select agricultural value chains.


Heifer CEO Surita Sandosham stands with Ethiopia officials

In Ethiopia, Heifer recently signed two MOUs with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Irrigation and Lowlands that build on our existing strategic relationship and reflect shared objectives to strengthen agricultural and pastoral livelihoods, transform the agriculture sector and improve food security. Heifer has been providing technical assistance to the government’s flagship livelihoods initiative, the Lowlands Livelihoods Resilience project, which bolsters pastoral and agropastoral livelihoods in accord with the government’s Livestock Master Plan, Growth and Transformation Plan II and Climate Resilience and Green Economy Strategy.

Through these agreements, Heifer is developing the National Lowland and Pastoral Program — a development plan for lowland and pastoral Ethiopia — and is supporting commercialization of the livestock production system through improved market systems, forage production and animal health service delivery. Heifer is working with both ministries to identify and implement innovations to engage women and youth in agriculture, and improve production, income, access to finance and utilization of technology in alignment with the country’s economic reform agenda. Heifer is also providing capacity building for government and project staff, developing co-managed markets, and identifying public, private and producer partnership opportunities to strengthen and commercialize the livestock production system.


Rwandan project participants gather around a pot of food

Heifer International Rwanda is the co-financier as well as the implementer through the Single Project Implementation Unit of International Fund for Agriculture Development funded projects under the Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB-SPIU/IFAD). In this partnership, Heifer Rwanda is implementing the social mobilization and graduation of vulnerable households’ sub-component, ensuring that small livestock farmers are socially, technically, and economically empowered. In this role, Heifer is supporting 23,400 poor and food insecure rural households and helping them achieve a sustainable living income by increasing their production and productivity and connecting them to markets.

We are also implementing the Partnership for Resilient and Inclusive Small Livestock Markets (PRISM) project with the Rwandan government, providing small ruminants to selected households and linking them to the goat, sheep, backyard pig and backyard chicken value chains. We provide capacity-building to enhance farmers' technical skills in animal husbandry and foster development of social capital through self-help groups. These farmers are organized into 790 Self-Help Groups (SHGs) to facilitate knowledge transfer through various training sessions and to cultivate a culture of unity and mutual support, thereby fostering social capital development. Heifer’s government partners include the Local Administrative Entities, Development Agency Districts, Ministry of Local Government, Rwanda Agriculture Board, Rwanda Cooperative Agency, Rwanda Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources and the Rwanda National Dairy Board.


Self-help group members in Nepal hold crops

The Nepal Government Partnership for Economic Growth (NGP) project is being implemented by Heifer International in partnership with local governments across Nepal. Since project launch in 2021, partnership agreements have been executed with 43 local government bodies, reaching over 46,000 households through 1,809 Self-Help Groups (SHGs). NGP focuses primarily on strengthening the goat value chain, including meat and milk, and secondarily on strengthening the dairy, vegetables, and local poultry value chains.

The project integrates Community Agrovet Entrepreneurs (CAVEs) to improve production, productivity, and market access through better farm business management, increased investment, and improved animal health and breeding practices. Through the program, smallholder farmers have been able to increase their flock size through more effective breeding practices. The project has also focused on planting a combination of legumes and non-legume fodders and forage plants to increase food production for the flocks, benefiting over 26,000 households. Heifer has provided technical training for related crop production and best practices for cultivation, including post-harvest handling, by-product maximization, locally sourced feed ingredients, and animal health management. These efforts have had a significant impact on production levels within the targeted agri-livestock sectors. Heifer also recently hosted the Goat Sub-Sector Policy Workshop with Nepal’s Ministry of Livestock Development which included representatives from the Government of Nepal, Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, private sector entrepreneurs in the goat sub-sector, bank and financial institutions, producer cooperatives, bi- and multilateral institutions, media and other experts.

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