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New Farm Africa project to boost Ugandan and Ethiopian women’s livelihoods and nutrition

July 5, 2018

“Nichole Sobecki / Farm Africa”


“Nichole Sobecki / Farm Africa”

Farm Africa has been awarded a grant from UK Aid Direct, the Department for International Development (DFID) fund supporting civil society organisations to achieve sustained poverty reduction.

The funding is enabling Farm Africa to work with Ugandan and Ethiopian women to set up sustainable, small-scale goat-rearing enterprises that improve nutrition amongst women and children and lift families out of poverty.

The drylands of Ethiopia’s South Omo zone and Uganda’s Karamoja sub-region are home to pastoralist livestock herders who migrate with their animals in search of fresh pasture.

In South Omo and Karamoja, goat rearing is common but unproductive. Goats are traditionally farmed for their meat, so local breeds yield little milk. A lack of suitable fodder, particularly in the dry season, and poor access to veterinary and breeding services limits milk production.

In both areas, goats are often managed by women, and goat’s meat and milk is a rich source of protein and nutrients. Yet, women are over-represented amongst those suffering from malnutrition.

Pastoralist women’s low social and economic status, coupled with poor knowledge about nutrition, often impedes women from translating improved goat production into the consumption of nutritious foods.

Farm Africa will establish 400 local Women’s Livestock Groups, through which we will provide training in goat rearing and fodder and rangeland management to over 10,000 women in Uganda and Ethiopia.

A 7,200 woman-strong revolving goat scheme will be set up, which requires each woman who receives two goats from Farm Africa to give two does (female goats) to another vulnerable woman once her herd has grown, creating a cycle of improved prosperity.

Village Saving and Loan Associations will be established, where female goat herders will unite to save and make funds available to invest in each other’s businesses. These interventions will be combined with training in goat breeding, fattening and production of dairy products so that women can grow their fledgling businesses into profitable enterprises.

Through a blend of targeted communication activities, this project will look to inspire, educate and empower 10,000 women to consume more goats’ milk and improve their families’ diets.

“Livestock are an incredibly important asset and a key source of food and income for pastoralist communities,” comments Farm Africa’s Director of Uganda Rachel Beckett. “Not only will this project grow the economic benefits communities receive from goat rearing, but by strengthening women’s economic and social position and improving their knowledge of nutrition, it will help address malnutrition amongst pastoralist women and children.”

A lack of veterinary and breeding services is limiting goat production. Farm Africa will strengthen the business capacity of 110 local vets and community animal healthcare workers and set up buck-rearing and breeding enterprises so that existing businesses can expand their operations and new businesses can provide vital services to local livestock keepers.

“NGOs come and go, but profitable businesses stay. By creating sustainable trading relationships between agribusinesses and smallholders Farm Africa will generate job opportunities in off-farm agriculture-related enterprises while improving farmers’ yields and profits,” said Michelle Wilson, Director of Programmes, Farm Africa.

Farm Africa is working in partnership with the Africa Innovations Institute, an agriculture and food systems research institute, and the Mothers and Children Multisectoral Development Organization, an NGO that works to improve the lives of disadvantaged mothers and children.

Farm Africa is an innovative charity that reduces poverty by unleashing African farmers’ abilities to grow their incomes in an environmentally sustainable way. We help farmers to not only boost yields, but also gain access to markets, while protecting the environment for generations to come.  www.farmafrica.org Twitter: @FarmAfrica

UK Aid Direct is a five-year, £150 million challenge fund designed to support the UK’s commitments to achieving the Global Goals.

UK Aid Direct is DFID’s main centrally managed funding mechanism for small and medium sized civil society organisations, based in the UK and overseas.

UK Aid Direct grants are for UK and international civil society organisations working to reduce poverty overseas and there are three grant types currently available:

  • Impact grants for between £250,001 and £4,000,000
  • Community Partnership for up to £250,000
    • Small Charities Challenge Fund for up to £50,000
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