I was travelling on a short flight from Nairobi to Mombasa yesterday and was glad to read about the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and its partners of the East Africa Dairy Development (EADD) Project in the Kenya Airways in-flight magazine in the seat pocket in front of me.
A four-page full-feature article (see pages 100-104) describes how the EADD project has introduced sedentary Friesian dairy cows in the traditionally Zebu herding communities of Kenya’s West Pokot District. The milk produced by the dairy cows and the Lelan Highlands Dairies Ltd cooperative set up by the project to help farmers bulk and sell the milk have led to substantial increases in incomes from smallholder women and young farmers. With this new economic activity, the young men no longer engage in the predatory behaviour of tit-for-tat cattle rustling, which used to plague these destitute communities. Increased incomes have also led to new productive projects: the cooperative has set up a financial arm and now services 700 savings accounts and employs six full-time banking employees.
With a cover story on saving Africa’s elephants, the thousands of travelers flying Kenya Airways this month are bound to browse through the magazine and read about this transformative dairy development story, available in both English and French. Pity the English version of the article got ILRI’s name wrong: International Livestock Research, without ‘Institute’. Luckily, a Google search using these three keywords still leads to ILRI’s home page!
Jo Cadilhon, Senior Agro-economist
Policy, Trade and Value Chains Program, ILRI