About us

Who We Are

The East Africa Dairy Development Project (EADD) is a regional industry development program implemented by Heifer International and a consortium of partners including TechnoServe, ILRI, The World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) and ABS TCM. The project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of an agricultural development grant designed to boost the yields and incomes of millions of small farmers in Africa and other parts of the developing world so they can lift themselves and their families out of hunger and poverty.

Vision and Objectives

The vision of success for the East Africa Dairy Development project is that the lives of 179,000 families – or approximately one million people – are transformed by doubling household dairy income by the 10th year through integrated intervention in dairy production, market access and knowledge application.

Key components of the EADD Project

  • The development of 27 milk collection hubs, including chilling plants for bulking and holding milk for pickup by processors in refrigerated milk trucks.
  • The formation of farmer business associations that will own and manage the plants and develop hubs of dairy business services;
  • The use of artificial insemination to improve local breeds of dairy cows to produce more milk per day per cow. It will also focus on animal nutrition and health for better milk quality and
  • Extensive training provided by Heifer International and its partners in dairy animal husbandry, business practices, and other subjects needed to for successful operation of a business to produce, process and market dairy products.

Where We Are

The project operates in specific districts chosen for their suitability for smallholder dairy development in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda with the goal of doubling incomes of participating families in those areas.

Why Dairy Development in East Africa is Important

The East Africa region of Sub-Saharan Africa is an agricultural economy of small-scale, resource-poor farm communities composed of about 115 million people, half of them subsisting on less than $1 per day.

In this predominantly agricultural region of Africa, growing staple crops with some cash crops, and keeping local cattle are common, though not highly profitable, household activities. Although women are responsible for up to 80 percent of food produced in Africa, they frequently have the fewest resources and are particularly affected by economic poverty. Families are caught in a downward poverty spiral, characterized by declining food intake, poor education and health services, degraded and disappearing grasslands for their herds, and little-to-no access to commercial market systems.

The East Africa region is weak in market institutions, infrastructure networks and governance. Smallholder households are unable to generate increased income from current dairy business endeavors because they lack access to production technologies, efficient farming practices and links to markets.

Despite these constraints and vulnerabilities, smallholder dairying remains a durable strategy to increase household income, as it provides a secure livelihood, promotes women’s social and economic status, conserves ecosystems, and respects cultural values. In addition the economic climate is favorable for integrating smallholder dairy farmers into the formal marketplace and supply chain, as milk consumption is predicted to double in developing countries by 2020.