Introducing our project partner, East Africa Dairy Development – Team Kyimo

31st May 2015

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The East African Dairy Development (EADD) created in 2008 is a consortium of organisations including Heifer International and Technoserve.

Alongside Raleigh International they are promoting entrepreneurship in rural communities in Tanzania. EADD’s core values encompass a five year plan designed to ‘transform the livelihoods of resource-poor farming’, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In Tanzania, EADD’s mission is to work with 35,000 farmers who are identified within the highest dairy growth area. Kyimo is identified as one of the villages within this growth area.

Throughout the project Raleigh’s work is supported by EADD, who have come to the community to provide educational talks and training to the young entrepreneurs. We first met Baraka, an advisor of EADD, who taught the young entrepreneurs that they should be vigilant, determined and resourceful. Baraka explained this by drawing a man with three eyes; "You must have three eyes," he said, "two at the front and one at the back, it means you always have an eye on the community as well as your unique business idea." Baraka is just one of three advisors who have given workshops to the 16 entrepreneurs who wish to start a dairy business in Kyimo this week.

Doctor Lwitiko Mwaklaukwa, breeding specialist of EADD, spent an afternoon discussing artificial insemination (AI) to the entrepreneurs, covering basic questions such as what is AI and what are its benefits. Although only six of the entrepreneurs own cows and express basic knowledge in dairy farming, 11 attendees listened intently to the seminar raised by Dr Lwitiko Mwaklaukwa. It shows that the entrepreneurs seek involvement in this economically beneficial venture to modernise dairy farming in Kyimo.

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Data drawn from Raleigh’s household survey conducted by the volunteers earlier this week, concluded that the average household milked less than three litres a day from their cows; a statistic that appears impossibly low when compared to the UK, where cows can milk between 26-35 litres of milk per day. It appears to identify a problem in Kyimo which AI can potentially resolve by the breeding of improved cows.

Away from the classroom, EADD make their presence known in the community by holding an action day at the Kyimo primary school. Three hundred school children relished loud African chart music, free milk samples and chanted in unison, "Safi," when asked if the milk was healthy. According to the World Health Organisation, children worldwide are supposed to drink 200 litres a year for good health. However, children in Kyimo are only consuming a little over a litre a week.  EADD understand this issue needs to be addressed in rural communities; they stand not only to create business opportunities, but to help more of the population of east Africa understand the health value of milk.

It is clear EADD’s work within a community such as Kyimo is beneficial. Working with a project partner such as this will ensure that Raleigh’s work will continue to live on within the wider community and guarantee sustainable long-term development. 

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