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.
AREAS OF FOCUS
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.
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
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
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.
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.
DAIRY AND LIVESTOCK PROGRAM EXAMPLES
Kenya Semi-Arid Livestock Support (K-SALES)
Zimbabwe Rebuilding Dairy and Livelihoods (ZDL)