Advancing Local Dairy Development in Nigeria (ALDDN), is a five year program that is catalysing the emergence of a vibrant local dairy sector in an inclusive way that improves the livelihoods, productivity, nutrition, and empowerment of smallholder women dairy farmers and the communities in which they live. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ALDDN aims to reach at least 210,000 beneficiaries in Adamawa, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, and Plateau states. ALDDN is being implemented in partnership with private sector companies with the support of the Federal Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Industry Trade & Development, Health, Women Affairs & Social Development, Water Resources, and the Governments of Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, and Plateau States.
The dairy processor partners are Arla Global Dairy Products Limited, Integrated Dairies Limited, L&Z Integrated Farms Limited, Majestik Dairy Products Limited, Saj Foods Limited, and Sebore Farms Limited, while TechnoServe, Agridrive Limited, Livestock247.com and Viamo are implementing partners on the ALDDN program.
- Advocating for an enabling environment for local sourcing through engagements with the government and relevant private sector stakeholders.
- Increasing demand for locally sourced milk through partnerships with dairy processors, currently or interested in sourcing locally.
- Improving smallholder dairy farmers’ productivity by increasing their access to technical support services and right inputs.
- Empowering women dairy farmers and enabling them to improve their livelihoods and that of their households.
- Improving nutrition outcomes among smallholder dairy households through food systems entry points.
ALDDN through extension agents (EAs) seconded by the state governments and hired private extension agents, is supporting the processors in farmer’s identification and integration activities in geographic locations in which the processors are interested in establishing collection infrastructure and sourcing. Integrated farmers are registered on an electronic portal as part of the M&E system to enable tracking of key data at the household level. The program helps integrated farmers, with a key focus on the women, to be better organized, trained and equipped to control and manage their dairy business. Key elements include sensitizing dairy communities and building awareness around the benefits of active participation in the groups and cooperatives; increasing women’s participation in existing associations where relevant, based on cultural norms; working with the dairy farmers to set up, register and operationalize new associations (including women only ones) where relevant; and building the farmers’ capacity, particularly that of women to effectively operate and take on leadership roles within these associations.
ALDDN is improving farmers’ access to clean water by constructing solar powered boreholes in targeted dairy communities. This ensures that dairy households and indigenous populations in the communities they live in have clean water for both human and animal consumption and to improve milk hygiene. The program will combine a borehole and a retail kiosk selling clean water and household products, managed by a local female entrepreneur or SHGs. This will enable access to clean water under a sustainable business model that covers the cost of building boreholes and maintaining them beyond the life of the project. In addition, the program is providing stainless steel milk cans for distribution to dairy farmers through the dairy companies to improve milk hygiene during transportation to the collection centers. Participating dairy processors are investing in establishing milking parlors, collection centers and/or points, milk evacuation vehicles, and new equipment and/or production lines to enable them to collect and process raw milk from more farmers.
ALDDN is increasing the milk yield of at least 75,000 cows from 15,000 dairy households by at least 30%, resulting in the production of about 190,000 liters of milk per day at the end of the program. The program is also increasing dairy farmers’ access to quality feed and fodder for their cows, through the development of a network of farmers with access to land to establish sustainable and thriving fodder production businesses. ALDDN is improving farmers’ access to veterinarians, drugs, and vaccines, building the capacity of and connecting qualified animal health providers to participating farmers for annual vaccine campaigns and similar services. To progressively improve the genetic stock for improved milk yield, ALDDN is building the capacity of artificial insemination technicians (AITs) technicians to inseminate 8,000 cows and provide artificial insemination services to farmers.
Financial Inclusion & Income Diversification Support
Women dairy farmers are the main targets of this intervention which includes partnering with financial institutions and other programs to provide dairy farmers with more and easier access to services such as savings accounts, micro credit, Islamic banking, mobile banking, group savings etc. It enables participating women dairy farmers to diversify their income potential outside of dairy enterprise. Specific activities include vocational training with market potential to enable farmers learn new trades; introducing dairy farmers to nutritious crops to cultivate for sale to diversify their income and diets, providing farmers with training to enhance their business skills; fostering communal ownership of productive assets such as dairy equipment to improve milk production and joint investments in new business ventures to increase their income; and facilitating engagement with microfinance institutions to encourage individual and group savings and establish low risk lending programs.
Training and Extension, Advocacy and Behavior Change
ALDDN is providing training on good dairy practices, nutrition education, hygiene education and behavior change. The training is being disseminated through extension agents, including female agents to increase the participation of women dairy farmers. Sahel is also partnering with radio stations to develop and air relevant programs in local languages. In addition, Sahel is leveraging technology to provide mobile extension services e.g., via Interactive Voice Response (IVR). The program is developing and disseminating gender integration materials to participating dairy households through various channels; sensitisation and education of community leaders and men on the benefits of women empowerment; advocacy for the active involvement and buy-in from men towards women’s participation and increased leadership across all interventions; exploration of opportunities to organize gender-themed campaigns to encourage behavioral change; and assessment and measurement of the impact of the training received on behavior change.
Policy Advocacy to Support a Thriving Dairy Sector
The program is working with the government and dairy companies to create a framework that encourages local sourcing of raw milk to catalyze the growth of the Nigerian dairy industry. It will commission robust analyses of existing policies and lead policy reform opportunities on the diary enterprise value chain including prevailing regimes of import tariffs and levies; supporting convenings with the government and relevant stakeholders such as the National Commercial Dairy Farmers Association (CODARAN), and leading dairy processors, in order to discuss and recommend a dairy development strategy and related policy options. In addition, the program is providing technical and advisory support to strengthen dairy industry associations to enable them to effectively advocate for an enabling environment for the industry.