Area of Practice:
 Dairy and Livestock
42 percent of the world’s poor rely on livestock for their livelihoods

Smallholder farmers – including many women – can benefit from increased demand for animal-sourced products. But, a concerted effort is needed to enhance productivity, increase market access and decrease transaction costs.

We take a private sector, light touch approach, collaborating with diverse livestock and dairy value chain actors. To create market opportunities, we facilitate partnerships among smallholder farmers, producer groups, transporters, product hygiene inspectors, processors, retailers and business service providers, as well as regional, national and local regulatory authorities.

Farm Business Management
Livestock Farming as a Business: Working directly with a network of public and private service providers, we transition dairy and livestock farmers to be more commercially-oriented. Key to this transition is integration of farm business analysis into a farmer’s management approach. This helps farmers better analyze cash flows and returns on investment to grow their enterprises.

Market Access: We promote planned production and marketing, working with smallholder farmers to identify buyers, assess market demand, and deliver a consistent supply of quality products. This information feeds into production plans, ensuring optimal herd/flock sizes, breeding schedules, and animal marketing.

Sustainable Land Management
Environmental Practices: A livestock industry cannot prosper unless its natural resource base is healthy and fully functioning. We integrate sound environmental practices into all of our programs through: (1) Fodder crops that restore soil health and productivity; (2) Holistic rangeland management; and (3) Use of movable livestock pens for easy collection and dispersal of animal manure as fertilizer.

Improved Livestock Production
Nutrition: Poor animal nutrition is a key barrier to increased productivity and to the income that livestock can generate throughout the year. We assist farmers to intensify year-round fodder production and conservation in a sustainable and cost-effective manner, and build farmers’ capacities to develop least-cost rations using local ingredients. We provide technical support in feed formulation, forage genetics and business management to both seed suppliers and feed manufacturers.

Animal Health Services: We increase farmers’ access to basic animal health services by creating networks of community-based para-veterinarians who we link to professional veterinarians for continued support. Often, we target women for these roles, as they typically provide more effective support to female farmers.

Genetics: Africa and Asia account for over 50 percent of the growth of the global dairy herd. For smallholder farmers, owning improved livestock breeds is frequently the differentiator between subsistence farming and commercial production. We promote the use of cross-bred animals and artificial insemination to ensure genetic diversity within a geographic area. Producers are trained in reproductive health and the cost-benefit analysis of improved livestock ownership.

Kenya Semi-Arid Livestock Support (K-SALES)
Zimbabwe Rebuilding Dairy and Livelihoods (ZDL)

Click here for our Dairy and Livestock brochure

Current Areas Of Practice

Areas Of Practice Crops
Areas Of Practice Dairy and Livestock
Areas Of Practice Enterprise Acceleration
Areas Of Practice Environment
Areas Of Practice Food Safety and Quality Assurance
Areas Of Practice Gender
Areas Of Practice Market Access
Areas Of Practice Nutrition
Areas Of Practice Resilience
Featured Stories
Featured Stories
BDEP blog part four: Smallholder Dairy Development in Bangladesh: Dairy Company Partnerships Come to

Part Four concludes the series with a description of what farmers can do with their milk, owing to significant private sector investment for sustainability. Learn More

Dairy cooperative grows with financial investment

Rwandan financial institution ventures into a co-op dairy investment Learn More

BDEP blog part three: Smallholder Dairy Development in Bangladesh: Addressing the Productivity Gap

Part Three of a Four; in Part One we introduced some of the philosophies used by the BDEP team to guide their project, while in Part Two we mentioned how two of these philosophies drive the activities undertaken by BDEP. One of the most important philosophies followed by BDEP is that believing comes from farmers seeing progress with their own eyes, in their local setting. Part Three explores some of the most important topics which farmers are seeing on a daily basis, on their farm or on their neighbor’s farm. Learn More

Featured Stories
Featured Programs
Current Programs

Taking a private sector-driven, market systems approach to develop a more competitive dairy sector Learn More

Public-Private Partnership for Artificial Insemination Delivery (PAID)

This project is addressing genetics constraints to dairy productivity in Ethiopia and Tanzania. Learn More


Reducing food insecurity of vulnerable communities by addressing malnutrition, agricultural productivity and resilience Learn More