Agriculture - Nutrition | Economy - Development | Society
Malawi milk producers receive boost from Netherlands
afrol News, 8 October - The Malawi dairy farmers will received support from the Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, which today announced that it has initiated a multi-year sponsorship project to the Shire Highlands Milk Producers Association (SHMPA).
The primary objective of the project is to support smallholder dairy farmers in the Shire Highlands to improve their capabilities to manage the milk production process.
The Netherlands based company announced today it will provide financial and in-kind support that can annually be adapted as specified by SHMPA.
The company said the support will initially focus on increasing milk production by improvement of animal health and infrastructure. Short-term projects include the provision of funds to build and equip a veterinary laboratory as well as the supply of some urgently needed veterinary diagnostics and medicines. The scope of the support may also be extended to the improvement of milk quality, animal husbandry (nutrition, reproduction and breeding) and farm management. In-kind support may consist of the sharing of veterinary expertise as well as offering education and training.
"The challenges in dairy farming in this part of the world are many, and the road to progress is far from smooth, but most of the time in the right direction. Some of our biggest challenges are making sure that milk farmers have access to artificial insemination and veterinary services. We hope that through our links with Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health we will improve these services," commented SHMPA Dairy Development Advisor Brian Lewis.
"We are proud to be able, with the help of veterinarians who purchase our products, to assist milk farmers in the Shire Highlands in a sustainable manner that contributes to economic improvement in Southern Malawi," said Edival Santos, vice president, Global Ruminant Business Unit at Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health.
According to the project paper, materials will preferably be sourced on site, thereby sustaining the local economy. The funds are earmarked for specific objectives and SHMPA management will be responsible for using these resources efficiently and reporting on their allocation.
Funding will be generated by customer-focused, sales-related incentive programmes linked to the cattle business of participating country operations. This model is already being used successfully by Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health to support the Afya Serengeti project, a dog rabies eradication programme in Tanzania.
The Shire Highlands Milk Producers Association (SHMPA) is a farmers' cooperative that was founded in 1985 and offers support to small-scale dairy farmers in the Shire Highlands region of Malawi. SHMPA provides its members with veterinary services, training and education, credit facilities as well as milk collection logistics.
By staff writer
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