AGA IN ACTION
A boost for smallholder dairy development in Asia:
$7.3 million programmes launched
Part of 10 year investment plan for the Asian region costed at $250 million, two regional projects were launched few days ago at the Thai ministry of agriculture and cooperatives to foster dairy development and school milk programmes in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand.
FAO in cooperation with the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC), the governments of Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand, and other partners launched two projects that aim to foster dairy development and promotion of school milk programs in these countries.
With government in-kind contributions of around $4.7 million, the CFC is contributing a grant of $2 million for smallholder dairy development in view of the potential of dairying for food and nutrition security, employment creation and poverty reduction.
In addition, FAO is providing a $500 000 investment in a regional school milk programme.
Together the $7.2 million investment represents the first intervention under the Strategy and Investment Plan for Smallholder Dairy Development (SDD) in Asia prepared in May 2008 by FAO, the Animal Production and Health Commission for Asia and the Pacific (APHCA) and the CFC.
Smallholder dairy development
Productivity and market access of smallholder milk producers will be improved through adapting and demonstrating successful complete cow-to-consumer dairy chain models.
As a result milk productivity will be increased by 20 percent and imports reduced. Five thousand smallholder milk producers are expected to benefit directly from the project.
Besides specific country interventions, the project includes a regional element that aims at establishing the Asian dairy network to share knowledge and disseminate information about smallholder dairy development.
The availability of more and safer milk and dairy products will benefit some 6 000 children under pilot school milk nutrition schemes and over one million urban consumers.
Dairy training centres in the three target countries will be improved and Chiang Mai Dairy Training Centre upgraded to a Regional Dairy Centre.
These training centres will work towards fostering dairy production and entreprenurship in the three countries through training courses, workshops and study tours and field visits.
The projects will have a decentralised implementation structure. It is proposed to setup a Regional Dairy Task Force will guide project implementation at the apex level with National Dairy Task Forces guiding implementation at the local level.
The Japan Livestock Technology Association has been appointed as the independent supervisory body for the project.