Irish launches 2.8bn/- milk project

Ireland’s minister of state for Development and Trade Joe Costello earlier this week launched the second phase of a joint research project designed to increase access of poor farmers and dairy producers to services and markets in Tanzania at the cost of €1.4 million (Sh2.8 billion).

The ‘More Milk Dairy Market Hub’ research project, jointly implemented by International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Sokoine University of Agriculture, will run for four years and will focus on growing and improving the systems that farmers are currently using to sell their dairy products, according to the press statement issued by the Irish Embassy in Dar es Salaam.

“It is anticipated that by 2016 approximately 40,000 people in 6,400 households will benefit from the project. Irish Aid provided funding for the inception phase of the project, 2011-2012 and will provide €1.4 million in funding over the course of the four-year project,” reads part of the statement.

Speaking at the launch, the minister said: “I am pleased that Irish Aid will be associated with this project for developing dairy market hubs that will allow marginalised groups to access services. This will ensure that farmers can participate in the dairy value chain and ultimately, of course, it is about putting more money in farmers’ pockets.”

“This partnership is a very solid example of how Ireland can link institutions such as Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) to farmers’ needs with the support of International and Irish Institutions.

“I hope this project will succeed in facilitating collaboration and exchange of international experience and best practices on dairy science, productivity and marketing of milk produce. This will benefit scientists, students and livestock keepers in Tanzania,” said the minister.

As Irish aid’s focus in agriculture is on improving livelihoods of smallholder farmers and herders, the minister also took time to visit Wami Sokoine Village, a herders’ village in Mvomero District, Morogoro Region, according to the statement.

At the village, herders’ community leaders demonstrated livestock dipping to the minister using infrastructure built as part of the Disitrict Agriculture Development Plans, funded through the Agriculture Sector Development Programme. In 2012, Irish Aid provided €4 million (Sh8 billion) to the Agriculture Sector Development Programme.

In 2012, Irish Aid provided over €30 million (Sh60 billion) in support to Government of Tanzania and civil society organisations.

Irish Aid provided €6.5 million (Sh13 billion) to the agriculture sector in Tanzania in 2012, channelling €4 million (Sh8 billion) directly to government of Tanzania through the Agriculture Development Sector Programme.
Source: The Citizen, www.thecitizen.co.tz, reported by Ludger Kasumuni reported in Dar es Salaam


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