Land O'Lakes Launches USDA-Funded Tanzania Dairy Development Program
Minister of Parliament Benedict Ole Nangoro, the
Deputy Minister for Livestock and Fisheries,
addressingthe audience at the launch of the
Tanzania Dairy Development Program.
Dar es Salaam – January 26, 2011
Land O’Lakes International Development has just launched a new US $8 million, three-year USDA-funded dairy development program in Tanzania that is expected to directly improve incomes and strengthen food security for nearly 18,000 farmers and agricultural input and service providers. The program will also indirectly benefit an additional 87,000 family members, and raise awareness about the nutritional value of milk among consumers.
A number of Tanzanian and US government officials joined Land O'Lakes to speak at the program launch of the Tanzania Dairy Development Program (TDDP), including from the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development; Ministry of Industry and Trade; Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives; and the Tanzania Dairy Board.
Building on Land O’Lakes previous USAID-funded dairy development initiatives in Tanzania that date back to 1999, TDDP will improve milk production all along the value chain, focusing on the Northern Corridor areas of Tanga, Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Mara districts. Market development activities will focus on the entire country.
Minister of Parliament Benedict Ole Nangoro, the Deputy Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, spoke passionately about the need for programs such as TDDP to “serve as a model and generate lessons learned for improved food security that can be emulated elsewhere in the country.” He noted that about 10 percent of the milk produced annually enters the market, with the remainder consumed at home or wasted due to inadequate collection systems.
While Tanzania possesses Africa’s third-largest cattle herd, and nearly two-thirds of the rural poor already own livestock, most farmers are unable to enjoy the incomes and improved food security that the dairy industry provides in neighboring countries such as Kenya.
Director of National Food Security John Mngodo explained, “Despite the fact that small-scale dairying is an important agricultural activity for many poor families, dairy cooperatives are still very few.” Only 142 of the country’s 9,501 registered cooperatives focus on livestock or dairy. He added, “This attests to the significance of this program, which aims to create and strengthen dairy cooperatives at the grassroots.”
Land O’Lakes TDDP program will provide training and technical assistance to increase 17,000 farmers’ incomes by 25 percent, and develop market linkages to improve the dairy cold chain. It will also strengthen the supply of key inputs, boost the quality of Tanzanian dairy products to reduce import substitution, and improve awareness about milk’s nutritional benefits to raise domestic consumption among 1.5 million consumers.
Land O'Lakes Regional Director for Africa Dr. Joe Carvalho explained that the program was designed to support Government of Tanzania policies such as Vision 2025 and Kilimo Kwanza, which are aimed at improving people’s standards of living through improved agricultural production. “We will do this by increasing the availability of milk on the farm and for consumers – while also improving incomes and creating new jobs for dairy stakeholders working all along the value chain.” The end goal is to transform the dairy sector from subsistence farming to commercial agriculture, he added.
Rachel Trego from the U.S Department of Agriculture said the three-year effort, part of the Food for Progress Program, showed the commitment of the American people to help to ensure lasting food security for the people of Tanzania.
Quoting U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Trego said, "This food assistance program furthers the Obama Administration's efforts to introduce and expand free enterprise in the agricultural sector of developing countries and emerging democracies around the world." She added that within the last year, USDA has provided more than $145 million in international assistance under the Food for Progress Program, benefiting more than 3.4 million people and providing access to new opportunities for farmers and rural communities worldwide.
Land O'Lakes is the second largest food and agricultural cooperative in the United States doing business in all 50 states. Building in the company’s 90 years of agribusiness cooperative heritage, Land O'Lakes International Development has implemented 260 programs in over 75 countries since 1981.
The Guardian, a major daily paper in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, published an article about the program launch. To access the article, click here.