Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grant: Dairy Development for Farm Households in East Africa

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation / Global Development Program


A woman feeds her Jersey cow in Rwanda, 2007. Photo by Geoff Oliver Bugbee, Heifer International

About the Grantee:

Heifer International is a humanitarian assistance organization active in more than 125 countries. Its mission: to help end hunger and poverty by giving impoverished people livestock and training them in environmentally sound agricultural practices.

Grant Amount: $42.8 million

Grant Term: December 2007—December 2011

Grant Location: Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda

Partners: TechnoServe, International Livestock Research Institute, African Breeders Services, World Agroforestry Center.

checkboxThis grant includes a plan for third-party evaluation.

Grantee: Heifer International

The demand for dairy products in developing countries is projected to double by 2020. East African dairy farmers who wish to tap into this growth face several constraints. First, because they don’t have access to the latest agricultural methods, their cows don’t generate as much milk as they could. Second, to prevent their milk from spoiling, they must sell it within a few hours and, thus, within a finite area.

But crossbred cows can produce up to 17 times more milk than local breeds, and with better fodder and other interventions, even the local breeds can produce almost twice the milk. In addition, if farmers have access to chilling plants where their milk can be preserved, they can sell more of their product in the growing formal market. These chilling plants can also become hubs of business activity where farmers can get training and services for their cows, including artificial insemination and veterinary health care.

This grant to Heifer International is designed to double the dairy incomes of smallholder dairy farmers in the region in 10 years.

Learn More

Read the 2011 Progress Report

Get the latest updates and find out what we’re learning through this grant to Heifer International.

Video: A Cow Can Change Everything

Learn more about the East Africa Dairy Development Project.

Passing on the Gift of Knowledge

Learn about how farmer trainers in East Africa are working to educate other farmers in improved feeding practices.



One thought on “Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grant: East Africa Dairy Development Project

  1. Pingback: A Cow Can Change Everything (East Africa Dairy Development Project) | For Yap State Citizens

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