East African dairy under COVID-19: How is this vibrant sub-sector faring? Join us for a webinar 28 May

Albertina is business savy. Domingos has a knack for operations—
together this husband and wife are using complementary strengths
to run a successful dairy business in Mozambique.
Their dairy operation is supported by Land O’Lakes Venture37
through the USDA-supported MERCADO program.
(Photo credit: Ashley Peterson/Land O’Lakes Venture37)

East African dairy under COVID-19
A vibrant sub-sector is key to a food-secure future

Join us for a webinar with experts from
Land O’Lakes Venture37
International Livestock Research Institute
Global Dairy Platform & Bain & Company

Hosted by the SEEP Network on
28 May 2020
9am Minneapolis (CDT) | 10am Washington DC (EDT) | 3pm London (BST) | 5pm Nairobi (EAT)

 Register for the one-hour webinar here.

As COVID-19 continues to harm human health and disrupt businesses, food systems and national economies around the world, East African dairy presents great opportunities for both coping with the ongoing emergency and subsequently growing the resilience of this region’s smallholder food systems.

Dairy is the fastest growing and most dynamic agricultural sub-sector in East Africa. Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania are among the biggest dairy producers on the continent. Milk consumption in Kenya is the highest in Africa. Dairy employs several million women and men in the region, where low-income households depend on ‘informal’ (largely unregulated) dairy to access relatively cheap raw milk, which provides essential nutrition for millions of poor households, particularly infants in their first 1,000 days of life and their mothers.

In this webinar, leaders from Land O’Lakes Venture37, the Global Dairy Platform, Bain & Company, and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) will discuss what’s known of COVID-19’s impacts on East Africa’s vibrant dairy industry and the role dairy can play in creating resilient food systems in the future. Panelists will share how dairy is helping to ensure food and nutritional security and to maintain livelihoods during the pandemic. The Global Dairy Platform’s ‘Dairy Nourishes Africa’ initiative will be introduced as an example of how dairy can drive development on the continent.

Register for the one-hour webinar here.

Land O’Lakes Venture37 and ILRI partnership
In March 2020, ILRI and Land O’Lakes Venture37 entered a memorandum of understanding partnership to improve the livelihoods and nutrition of poor communities through livestock. Over its nearly 50 years of research operations, ILRI has developed a wealth of pro-poor livestock evidence, technologies and policies. Land O’Lakes Venture37 brings advanced technologies and practices to small-scale farmers to address the special challenges they face. With their complementary expertise, ILRI and Venture37 are working together to test, pilot, and scale out livestock innovations with potential to enhance food, nutritional and economic security.

With a focus on dairy, poultry, small ruminants and pigs, ILRI and Venture37 will collaborate with local governments, the private sector and development partners to improve animal genetics, health and nutrition; veterinary services; climate-smart livestock systems; and the safety of milk, meat and egg products.

Building sustainable food systems that can provide highly nutritious animal-sourced foods to resource-poor populations is something that ILRI and Venture37 have been collaborating on for several years across the East Africa region. Most recently, over the last five years, ILRI and Venture37 have worked closely with academic institutions, private sector and host country governments in Tanzania and Ethiopia to deliver and sustain dairy genetic gains. ILRI’s African Dairy Genetic Gains project developed systems to select cross-bred bulls and cows of superior genetic merit for artificial insemination. Venture37’s Public-Private Partnership for Artificial Insemination Delivery (PAID) project partnered with government institutions and dairy genetics companies to scale out effective ‘doorstep AI delivery’ and heifer multiplication. These projects are together providing Tanzanian and Ethiopian farmers with the artificial insemination genetics, services and training they need to significantly increase their dairy productivity.

‘Land O’Lakes Venture37 is a proven and highly respected applied research partner. Their corporate affiliate, Land O’Lakes, Inc., has nearly a century of practical agribusiness expertise in livestock. In partnering together, we can provide research solutions that can be scaled for wide and lasting benefits in developing countries.’
—Jimmy Smith, ILRI director general
‘ILRI excels at delivering multidisciplinary research solutions. Through our partnership, Venture37 is able to take ILRI’s solutions, rapidly test them on the ground, refine them, and then roll them out at scale. By working together, we are leveraging the full potential of research to benefit the communities we serve.’
—John Ellenberger, executive director for Land O’Lakes Venture37

ILRI and Venture37 will share lessons from their collaboration with the development community in joint publications and webinars. The 28 May 2020 webinar announced above is the first to be held under the Venture37-ILRI memorandum of understanding.

About ILRI
The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) is a non-profit institution helping people in low- and middle-income countries to improve their lives, livelihoods and lands through the animals that remain the backbone of small-scale agriculture and enterprise across the developing world. Specifically, ILRI works with partners to improve food and nutritional security and to reduce poverty and environmental degradation in developing countries through research for efficient, safe and sustainable use of livestock. Employing more than 600 people, including scientists from more than 40 countries, ILRI is a CGIAR research centre co-hosted by Kenya and Ethiopia and with 14 other offices across Africa and Asia.

About Land O’Lakes Venture37
Venture37 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit helping communities around the world build economies by strengthening local agriculture, helping agribusinesses create jobs and linking farmers to markets. Since 1981, it has implemented over 315 integrated dairy, livestock and crop development programs in nearly 80 countries. Land O’Lakes Venture37’s long-standing affiliation with Land O’Lakes, Inc.—one of America’s largest farmer-owned cooperatives, with nearly 100 years of expertise in dairy, animal nutrition, crop inputs and agricultural insights and technologies—sets it apart. Land O’Lakes, Inc. supports Venture37 projects as part of its enterprise purpose of ‘Feeding Human Progress’ at home and around the world.

About the SEEP Network
The Small Enterprise, Education and Promotion Network is a global network of diverse organizations and members in 150 countries that promotes markets that create opportunities for all people to engage and prosper.