EnviroCow: Reducing feed costs and GHG emission in smallholder dairy cattle in SSA


The EnviroCow Project aims to reduce feed costs and green house gas emission in smallholder dairy cattle in sub-Saharan Africa. The project will provide small-scale dairy farmers with access to feed efficient and well-adapted cows to increase their income.

The EnviroCow project, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), collaborates with partners such as the Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) in Scotland, UK, the Tanzania Livestock Research Institute (TALIRI), and the Livestock Development Institute (LDI) in Ethiopia. Its objective is to empower small-scale dairy farmers across sub-Saharan Africa by providing access to cows that are better adapted to local conditions, thereby enhancing their income, lowering feed costs, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Presently, EnviroCow is engaged with over 700 cattle in Tanzania and Ethiopia to gather data and create tools for phenotyping and genetic selection, focusing on innovative animal traits like methane emission intensity, feed efficiency, milk yield, survival rate, and consistency of milk production. The initiative aims to select cows that are not only more efficient and productive but also have a minimized environmental footprint.

The project has strong links with ADGG and CTLGH, as the phenotyping for new traits will be done on subsets of animals in these programs.