NEADAP Newsletter issue 1
The Netherlands East Africa Dairy Partnership (NEADAP) is one of the impact coalitions supported by NFP. Providing support to the dairy farmers and producers across six countries, NEADAP's shared ambition is to create impact at scale for the East Africa dairy sector.
It is our pleasure to circulate this first newsletter from the Netherlands East Africa Dairy Partnership. NEADAP builds on the knowledge, expertise and networks of its partners, who are active in East African dairy. The partners strive to tackle current challenges in the dairy sector by testing innovative approaches and tools and bringing these to scale. You can find a number of dairy innovations described in this newsletter. Happy reading!
In the first half of 2022, we began by developing a number of innovative approaches and tools, which we call “products”, and organizing product teams of experts around them. But our challenge is beyond product development. NEADAP aims to reach adoption at scale, by engaging new partners and testing these products in practice. The scaling approach should promote these products and help partners to include them in their dairy activities.
Are you interested in partnering with NEADAP on scaling one or more of our dairy products?
Please contact me via email: email@example.com
Marco Streng Regional coordinator East Africa – NEADAP
Yoba yoghurt for health and wealth
Yoba is a probiotic yoghurt with proven health benefits. The Yoba for Life organization creates wealth by supporting a social business model of local yoghurt production. Since 2009, Yoba for Life has trained and supported over 300 yoghurt entrepreneurs in Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia. So far, the organization works with grants to train small entrepreneurs in East Africa, free of charge. In collaboration with NEADAP, a new approach is tested in Kenya: seconding the training operations to a third party who charges a fee for these training sessions.
NEADAP scaling strategy
In Kenya, Yoba for Life is testing a commercial model of training delivery in collaboration with the local social enterprise Mellow Foods.
In April 2022, Mellow Foods successfully charged a commercial fee to train the Kishon Women Group in Narok County in how to produce yoghurt. The group is currently producing 20 litres of yoghurt daily, using the Yoba probiotic yoghurt culture.
Yoba for Life is a small NGO which has three unique assets: a) a probiotic yoghurt starter culture tailor-made for small-scale production in rural areas, b) expertise in using a low-tech yoghurt production protocol with widely proven applicability in the African context, and c) specialized training material on running a small-scale yoghurt business, including advice on sourcing inputs, marketing, bookkeeping and financial management.
In Uganda and Tanzania, many small yoghurt producers are already using Yoba starter culture to produce probiotic yoghurt. Here, the strategy is now to promote demand through media campaigns and via partnerships with local governments and development organizations. Uganda has exemplary practices both in using simple yet very safe and effective yoghurt production technologies, as well as a successful school yoghurt programme.
In Kenya, the current challenge is to train new yoghurt entrepreneurs. Yoba for Life is testing a commercial model of training service delivery in collaboration with the local social enterprise Mellow Foods. It intends to provide yoghurt technology and business development training for a fee. Mellow Foods will offer paid training for new entrepreneurs and can be hired as a consultancy.
In the coming months, Yoba for Life will also explore opportunities to partner with the private sector to produce, export and distribute yoghurt culture in East Africa.
In the long term, Yoba for Life aims to move into support roles, such as organizing exchange visits from teams in Ethiopia and Kenya to Uganda.
Are you interested in partnering with Yoba for Life? Email Nieke Westerik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quality milk in Uganda
Good quality milk is a health consideration in many countries. It is also a business interest of dairy processors. NEADAP supported a pilot project on Quality Based Milk Payment Systems in Uganda. The pilot involved, DDA, SNV, processors and dairy coops and combined training, coaching and education as well as setting up a quality control system that provides a financial incentive to the key stakeholders in the dairy chain. The NEADAP partnership considers the QBMPS approach an important aspect of dairy sector development and aims to inspire further upscaling.
NEADAP scaling strategy
Identify interested value chain actors in Kenya and Rwanda and co-create the set-up of QBMOS pilots.
Effective extension to smallholder dairy farmers
In East African dairy, extension services can be provided by different organisations like government, processors, cooperatives and commercial extension services. Agriterra, in the lead on this topic for NEADAP, is focusing on the dairy extension services for smallholder farmers, as provided by processors and cooperatives. From experience we have learned that extension contributes to increased production and higher income for the farmers.
Two key questions around financial sustainability and effectiveness are:
a) how to organise the extension delivery in an economically sustainable way and
b) how to assure knowledge and skills of extension workers, so that extension messages reach farmers.
NEADAP scaling strategy
Analyse different models of providing extension services, capture lessons and best practices and disseminate these in the network.
The approach followed by Agriterra and partners is to do case studies of different models of extension service provision. In this way, lessons learned and best practices are captured, which can be used to expand these models elsewhere. Also a study tour will be organised from Rwanda to Uganda. Participating in this study tour are 4 dairy coops, processor and governmental organisations to learn from the lessons learned in Uganda especially on QBMPS, extension services and fodder.
In beginning 2023, Agriterra and WUR will publish the case studies and report and also organise a webinar about dairy extension services.
Are you interested in this topic ? Please contact Agnes Janszen via email@example.com
Focus on Forage
In the dairy sector, more and better fodder is the core pathway to increasing milk production, reducing cost prize, building resilience, maintaining soil quality and fertility and reducing GHG-emissions. In the Dutch dairy development projects TIDE (Uganda) and BRIDGE (Ethiopia), forage and developing forage seed markets are key components.
Also in Kenya the forage seed market is growing, and the general view is that the Kenyan market is in the coming years the most relevant market in EA for forage seed companies. Therefore, NEADAP hired dairy expert Damaris Kikwai to develop a list of recommended forage varieties for Kenya and to create a model to calculate the costs and benefits of forage production.
NEADAP scaling strategy
Promoting forage seed availability and develop dairy extension messages on the economics of quality forage.
NEADAP is working with ProDairy and SNV to build on the present dynamics and use its convening strength, networks and expertise to speed up and strengthen the development towards a vibrant forage market, with in first instance a focus on Kenya.
The team is currently working on three areas:
- The forage seed registration process
- The economics of forage production
- The measurement of forage quality
The different activities and results will form the basis for developing a strategy and activities for strengthening forage seed markets in the East African region.
Are you interested in the forage activities in Kenya?
Please contact Damaris Kikwai at firstname.lastname@example.org
For hire: the maize train
In addition to forage production, dairy farmers in East-Africa also struggle with harvesting forage. Harvesting the right quantity and quality roughage is an important constraint, as poor feeding leads to poor milk yields, especially in the dry season.
In Kenya, Bles Dairies and SNV developed the ‘maize train operation’ to help farmers harvest a quality maize fodder crop as silage. Dairy farmers appreciated this service and paid for it. In due course, Bles Dairies and partner Nundoroto set up a Agro Contracting Service with quality machinery and advisory services for all steps in the production of roughage.
NEADAP scaling strategy
Replicate the maize train model with other East African business partners.
In Kenya, Agro Contracting Service partners now also offer training and backstopping on all steps in fodder production and harvesting. Meanwhile, Bles Diairies is looking into the opportunities to replicate this agro-contracting model in Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
Bles Dairies co-organized an exposure visit of Ethiopian commercial dairy farmers to the Netherlands. Some farmers now consider the ‘machinery sharing’ model that provides a solution for fodder production and silage, while reducing the cost of investment.
The visits and discussions mentioned above have resulted in the idea to organize a training week in Eldoret, Kenya. The target audience are SME businesses from Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia interested in ‘professional contracting services’ for fodder production and harvesting.
Are you interesting in the maize train and agro-contracting services. Please write to Wytze Heida at email@example.com
Better diets for dairy cows
Many of the dairy cows in East-Africa produce well below their genetic potential, especially where exotic dairy breeds or crossbreds have been introduced. Rapid gains in milk yield can be attained by removing imbalances in the diet. Diet formulation is an effective means of balancing the diet in terms of energy, protein and minerals at the lowest possible cost.
Rumen8 is a software application that takes out the tedious work of diet calculations. The software is user-friendly. Currently Rumen8 has more than 500 users in East Africa. Interested users receive a hands-on training in Rumen8, including a farm walk to check feeding routines, appreciation of feedstuffs and diet formulation exercises.
NEADAP scaling strategy
Promote Rumen8 software by training of dairy professionals working in dairy animal nutrition, extension and education.
Growing demand for balanced nutrition of dairy cows
Due to rising population and incomes, demand for milk and dairy products in developing countries is growing rapidly. For economic and environmental reasons, it is desirable to optimize milk yield per cow before increasing the number of animals in the herd. Currently, dairy cows in the tropics often produce well below their genetic potential, especially where exotic dairy breeds or crossbreds have been introduced.
Diet formulation can be a very effective means of identifying and correcting imbalances in supply and demand of nutrients to the cow such as energy, protein and minerals. In addition, it forces the user to record or calculate the cost of each diet ingredient to tabulate the total feed costs. Software applications take out the tedious work of multiple calculations. An example of very user-friendly software is Rumen8 (www.rumen8.com.au/) that was developed for use in temperate areas.
With grants of NEADAP, SNV and Victam Foundation, Rumen8 was adapted for use in East Africa. Adaptation in content and software was done by experts of the Rumen8 Pty team in Australia in close collaboration with Rumen8 users and nutritionists of NEADAP. In most tropical countries, the digestibility of feeds, in particular roughages such as stover, straw and hay of mature grass is much lower than in temperate areas. The high fibre content of such feeds limits voluntary intake of the cows. It is important to introduce in the diet more digestible improved forage varieties such as Brachiaria hybrids and cultivars, new Panicum and Napier grass varieties at young vegetative growth stage.
The ‘tropicalised’ Rumen8 diet formulation package was piloted in about 60 small, medium and large size dairy farms in Kenya and Uganda by respectively the Kenya Market-led Dairy Programme (KMDP) and The Inclusive Dairy Enterprise (TIDE). Recently Rumen8 was also introduced to dairy advisors of commercial farms in Ethiopia through the Building Rural Income through Inclusive Dairy Business Growth (BRIDGE) project. SNV-Netherlands Development Organization implemented the 3 projects and funding came from the Netherlands Embassy in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. The overall mission is to enhance the professionalism and competitiveness of the dairy sector and the projects work with smallholders, medium and large-scale farmers with the goal to improve nutrition for citizens of the 3 countries. Users of Rumen8 are dairy cattle extension workers/advisors and nutritionists. For diet formulation software to benefit dairy farmers users need to have a sound knowledge of dairy cow nutrition. The dairy advisors receive training in dairy cow nutrition and in diet formulation from experts of PUM (Netherlands Senior Experts) and ProDairy EA Ltd based in Nairobi. This is facilitated and coordinated by TIDE in Uganda, BRIDGE in Ethiopia and NEADAP in Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
The Rumen8 software can be downloaded free of charge from www.rumen8.com.au/ . It comes with a feed library of about 250 Australian fodders and feeds. However, feed ingredients and especially roughages in the tropics have lower nutritive values such as Metabolisable Energy and Crude Protein. Therefore, users in the tropics have to either analyze their feeds (preferred), or look up relevant feed data in publicly accessible feeding tables or scientific publications. In the absence of feed analysis (and reliable local feed testing laboratories) it is advisable to consult several databases and calculate mean values. As a starting point the dairy advisors use the SNV Tropical Feed library with 237 fodders and feeds which contains average nutritive values that were calculated from about ten tropical sources. Depending on visual and olfactory assessment of the feeds in a farm, the nutritionist calculates with values below or above those in the feed library.
Margin above feed costs
The teams in East Africa found that this software is very helpful in diagnosing and correcting shortcomings in the diets fed by their clients. The dairy advisors insist on using Rumen8 during farm visits only and prior to any calculation they inspect the herd on health, body condition and milk yield. Moreover, they visually evaluate all feeds available in the farm, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Thereafter they enter in the program the milk price and the price of all feeds in the farm as well as of feeds that can be bought in sufficient quantities. Finally, Rumen8 calculates the optimum diet that gives the highest Margin Above Feed Costs. The bottom line, therefore, is how much money a farmer receives after subtracting all feed costs from the milk revenue. From this margin the farmer pays other costs such as labour, veterinary costs, depreciation and utilities. What is left over is his or her profit.
Rumen8 enables formulation of balanced diets that lower the cost-price of milk and raise productivity and farm profitability. It also is an excellent teaching aid for training students in dairy cow nutrition. Currently Rumen8 has more than 500 users in East Africa and NEADAP plans to roll it out, together with other agencies, to other projects in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. Deployment in other countries in Africa is also being investigated. NEADAP realizes that considerable training is needed before new users are conversant with the software and therefor offers trainings to new users and encourages Universities in East Africa to embrace Rumen8 as a training tool for future animal nutritionists and farm coaches.
The value of manure
Since the beginning of 2021, fertilizer prices have consistently been increasing worldwide. The conflict in Ukraine has sparked further shockwaves through the market, causing prices to rise sharply and to even triple in some places. The situation in East Africa is no different; the effects in the fertilizer market are quickly visible.
There is a small upside to this situation, livestock farmers own a natural resource which has been underutilised and under-valued until now: animal manure.
With fertilizer prices skyrocketing, the value of manure becomes more eminent. However, to maximize the benefits of manure, proper management of manure is often lacking, leading to excessive loss of manure nutrients, this lowers the fertilisation value of the manure for the plants growing in the soil. Also, the handling of liquid manure, also called slurry is seen as tedious and time consuming.
Within the Netherlands East Africa Dairy Partnership (NEADAP) we started an initiative with stakeholders in the Kenyan dairy sector to raise awareness on the value of animal manure and to find solutions for manure handling or suitable practices for manure management. Many farmers are already applying basic manure management practices which could be further maximized to generate the full potential of all nutrients and other benefits contained in animal manure . Others are still struggling with the more manure produced in their farms then their small farm land can handle land, sometimes this excessive flow of manure slurry is seen as a nuisance to their neighbours. Also for these farmers the initiative can result in more sustainable solutions.
Within the next six months, farmers who are member of a dairy cooperative will be invited to participate in this initiative. Their manure handling and storage practices will be discussed and refined with the aim to further reduce nutrient losses as well GHG emissions. For the proposed manure management interventions : demonstrations will be set up to monitor the nutrient cycle, record the benefits and additional costs involved. The best practices will identified based on their social, economic and environmental benefits and will be shared within the cooperatives through field days and an extensive outreach program.
Are you interested in manure management? Write an email to Naomi Chepsuge at firstname.lastname@example.org
How to assess dairy sustainability?
NEADAP calls for social, environmental, and economic sustainability of dairy development in East Africa. The dairy sector means a livelihood for millions of smallholder farmers, it means affordable and safe dairy products, and it is to sustain the agroecological resource base.
NEADAP and Wageningen Livestock Research took up the challenge to develop a workable concept for dairy sustainability in East Africa. A new tool was developed: the Dairy Sustainability Assessment Tool (DSAT). DSAT provides a) a scorecard to assess current sustainability issues and b) a format for a stakeholder dialogue to discuss these issues.
The tool has now been tested in several regions and countries in East Africa : Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda.
NEADAP scaling strategy
Further develop the DSAT tool and offer workshop support to partners. Information from dairy sustainability workshops eventually informs policy dialogue.
In the DSAT test, participants selected 8 priorities from a list of 14 aspects of sustainability. Next, they score (individually or in pairs) the indicators linked to these aspects. The results are represented in a spider web diagram. It is noted that the African participants had no in-depth knowledge of the dairy sector in the Nakuru region. Nevertheless, the tool triggered interesting discussions and insights, for example the relation between dairy and soil quality.
A web-based version of the DSAT tool with manuals is expected in the third quarter of 2022. Further ambitions for the second half of 2022 are to publish a video presentation, a flyer and a facilitator guide for DSAT workshops.
Are you interested to apply this tool in your organisation or milkshed? Please write to Asaah Ndambi at Asaah.email@example.com
Meet Tom Ole Sikar
Tom Ole Sikar is the new coordinator for NEADAP activities in Tanzania.
In NEADAP, Tom will be the country coordinator for Tanzania. His role will involve coordinating technical support to various key partners and stakeholders in order to adapt and scale up NEADAP innovative arrangements and technologies into the dairy sector in Tanzania.
Tom worked in SNV Tanzania in the livestock and dairy sector for more than 12 year until 2021. As a project manager, he worked with all types of stakeholders, from farmers to dairy authorities. Topics included income and employment for women and youth and the cacpacity of key actors to provide key services to the small-scale farmers.
Tom also served SNV as agricultural sector leader and was the country coordinator of AgriProFocus (now Netherlands Food Partnership). Tom comes from a background of pastoralists people and society in Tanzania. In reality he grew up in the society which has been transitioning from nomadism to sedentary lifestyle which combines both livestock-keeping and small-scale subsistence agriculture.
According to Tom, the key issues in Tanzania dairy development is the low consumption level.
At around 50 litres per capita, milk consumption as nutritious food is still quite low in Tanzania.
Malnutrition and stunting, which could be addressed by consuming nutritious food still rampant among children. Ironically even in the milk sheds malnutrition is still quite high up to 45% of children are affected. Promotion of school milk programs is still a challenge because parents and schools are still affected by donor syndrome and dependency on government to provide free meals. Adoption of innovative approaches and technologies in production and processing amongst farmers and processors is still low leading to higher value chain inefficiencies, costs and uncompetitive dairy sector.
The approach for NEADAP in Tanzania is to ensure sustainable adoption and scaling of NEADAP products, starting by facilitating the sharing knowledge and best practices with key actors and stakeholders will be important in building momentum to move forward. This stage will be followed by coordinating working relations among dairy cooperatives, processors and other public and private sector organisations in order to increase opportunities required for adapting and scaling the products. The emerging working relations will be supported to grow into several partnerships which will be facilitated and coordinated to scale the products sustainably. Learning amongst partners and stakeholders will also be used as an approach to further scale NEADAP products.
If you have questions or ideas, write Tom Ole Sikar at firstname.lastname@example.org