The Land O'Lakes International Development Fund has announced a five-year, $18.1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in support of efforts to reduce poverty among smallholder farmers in Tanzania and Ethiopia.
The Public-Private Partnership for Artificial Insemination Delivery (PAID) program will address genetic constraints to dairy productivity in the two African countries through public-private partnerships designed to strengthen the delivery of artificial insemination services. PAID seeks to establish more sustainable and effective private-sector and government-led channels for delivering AI and related services aimed at improving dairy cattle productivity while helping to stimulate growth in East Africa's dairy sector.
To that end, PAID will work with Tanzanian and Ethiopian governments to train at least 225,000 smallholder farmers in improved dairy cattle management techniques and deliver approximately 1.8 million AI and other dairy production-related inputs and services. It also will work with the National AI Centers in both countries to boost the production and distribution of quality frozen dairy cattle semen, including crossbreeds. In addition, PAID and its partners will examine and test several business models for scaling AI delivery beyond the life of the program.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in this critical initiative, as it will play a catalytic role in enabling dairy farming to serve as a viable pathway out of poverty," said Land O'Lakes IDF executive director Jon Halverson. "Compared to rain-fed crops, dairy farming can provide families not only with a year-round income but also with a regular source of animal protein they can consume."