Dairy For Development

Dairy cows play a vital role in many developing countries, serving not only as a source of income for smallholder farmers but contributing to the improved health and nutrition of their families and communities and a driver of economic development.

As a centre of dairy expertise – and home of the Jersey breed – we are uniquely well-placed to assist farmers, charities, cooperatives, extension workers and national governments with improving the quality and profitability of milk production.

Our Dairy for Development grants focus on boosting livelihoods and nutrition by enhancing dairy production techniques (specifically bovine) to boost milk yields and quality, strengthening value chains, improving animal health and genetics, improving competitiveness of farmers, cooperatives and connected businesses and providing innovative financing, especially to support small-scale producers.

Download the Dairy for Development Strategy

Current Dairy for Development Grants

List of Current Grants
Agency Programme Country Value Start End
The Ripple Effect International Dairy for Nutrition and Income (DaNI) - Phase 2 Ethiopia £1,397,914 2023 2027
RJAHS Amakuru ku nka z'umukamo - Dairy Data Project Rwanda £1,568,942 2023 2026
RJAHS Ongera Amata Rwanda £1,557,416 2023 2026
ADRA-UK The Enhanced Rural AI (TERAI) project for Smallholder Dairy Farmers in Nepal Nepal £1,102,365 2022 2026
RJAHS Jersey Breed Focussed Dairy Development in Zambia Zambia £1,198,007 2022 2025
The Ripple Effect International Inka Nziza Zikamwa ("Good cows that give milk") Rwanda £1,336,526 2021 2024
RJAHS Development of RAB Songa Station, a Centre for Dairy Excellence Rwanda £1,059,478 2021 2023
RJAHS Malawi Dairy Growth (MDG) Project - Phase II Malawi £999,600 2021 2024
RJAHS Transforming Smallholder Dairy Farming in the ChaCha Area Ethiopia £996,132 2020 2023
Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) Developing Inclusive and Profitable Dairy Market Systems for Pastoralist Communities Ethiopia £800,000 2020 2023

Project in focus: Dairy for Nutrition and Income (DaNI)

COUNTRY: Ethiopia

PARTNER: Ripple Effect

DURATION: 2020-2023

The challenge:

Livestock plays an important role in Ethiopia’s economy, society and culture, and the country has the highest cattle population in Africa. But despite the enormous potential of the dairy sector to improve lives, productivity is very low.

What did the project do?

Farmers were trained in food production, and in animal management and feeding regimes to improve the health and productivity of their livestock. Improved volumes of high-quality milk were stored and marketed. Local cattle were improved by crossbreeding them with the Jersey cow, which is well-suited to east African conditions. To target the most vulnerable members of these communities, 70% of the project participants were women.


Despite Covid challenges, the project team recruited 2,940 smallholder farmers, organising them into 145 self-help groups. Training in improved animal management is underway, with improvements in the condition of cattle already visible. In addition, capping two springs has brought reliable, clean water to 85% of families – a vital part of good nutrition. The focus of the project is now on the sale of surplus produce – butter, cheese, milk and fruit and vegetables. Farmers are engaging with local markets and savings schemes giving them access to capital to re-invest and to build their resilience to ‘shock’ events.

“I’ve learned so much since joining the Melkam group. I have been trained about dairy cow management, and how to support dairy farming as a business. Farming and livestock is my life, my family’s life – I want to learn as much as I can.”

Kelta Alambo Bunare