Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB)
The Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) is an autonomous agency of the Government of Rwanda, focused on development of the national agricultural sector including crops, livestock, fisheries and natural resources management including forestry, soil and water. RAB was formed in 2010 as an amalgamation of three agencies to bridge the gap between agricultural research, extension services, and policy. The Society partners with RAB along with Send a Cow on the Jersey Inka Nziza Phase I & II project with RAB providing support with extension, training and research activities and ensuring that activities are aligned with government priorities and other initiatives for agricultural development.
Send a Cow
Send a Cow is an INGO (International Non-Governmental Organisation) established in the UK in 1988. Originally formed as a faith-based charity providing expertise and donated dairy cows in rural Uganda, Send a Cow has expanded to a much wider portfolio of projects developing rural livelihoods in countries across Africa. Send a Cow’s work now focuses not only on improving farming practices for food security and good nutrition, but on wider aims of increasing gender and social inclusion, and developing the business skills and market linkages of smallholder farmers. 65% of their beneficiaries are female, and many are otherwise vulnerable such as people with disabilities, widows, and people living with HIV/AIDs. As well as Rwanda, Send a Cow also works in Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zambia.
The RJAHS first partnered with Send a Cow in 2017 under the first phase of the JOA-funded Jersey Inka Nziza (‘Jersey Good Cow’) project in Rwanda. Following several years of intermittent technical support and semen supply to the Government of Rwanda, partnering with Send a Cow – as an organisation already working on the ground with over 12,000 farmers – increased the scale at which the Society could benefit farmers at the base of the value chain. Following the success of Phase I, the Society has again partnered with SAC to deliver Jersey Inka Nziza Phase II (2019-22), working with over 13,000 smallholder farmers to improve production practices, provide quality genetics and breeding services, and enhance food security, incomes, and gender and social inclusion.
UdderWise is a veterinary consultancy specialising in practical mastitis solutions and tailor made training for the dairy industry throughout the world. UdderWise provides a personal service with a small number of clients that delivers value and is based on long term relationships. UdderWise is owned by Peter Edmondson, a dairy vet specialising in mastitis and milk quality with extensive international experience. He worked with large dairies in Saudi Arabia and China and then moved to the UK and was a director in a specialist dairy practice before forming UdderWise in 2015. He has written three books on mastitis and regularly speaks at international conferences. Peter has provided extensive remote and in-country support over recent years to the Society's projects in Malawi and Ethiopia, advising on issues such as cattle health, fertility and milk quality and supporting development of training materials.
Jersey Overseas Aid
Formed in 1968, Jersey Overseas Aid (JOA) is an international aid agency funded by the States of Jersey. JOA funds projects targeting sustainable development in some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the world, and is staffed by a team of full-time development professionals with oversight from six unpaid commissioners (both States and non-States). In recent years, JOA has adopted a more targeted funding strategy, moving from a very large portfolio of small, single-year projects to commissioning fewer but larger and more long-term projects in three targeted focus areas – Dairy for Development, Financial Inclusion, and Conservation Livelihoods. These areas were selected due to the globally recognised expertise of Jersey organisations in these areas, as well as their potential to contribute towards sustainable development. In addition to supporting the work of the RJAHS in Rwanda, Malawi and Ethiopia, JOA also funds various Dairy for Development programmes led by other organisations including Farm Africa, Send a Cow and the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF). JOA also supports other local charities working internationally, as well as providing funding for emergency humanitarian assistance around the world.
Shire Highlands Milk Producers Association (SHMPA)
Malawi project partner the Shire Highlands Milk Producers Association (SHMPA) has been the main actor in smallholder dairy development in Malawi since forming in 1985. SHMPA is an organisation of smallholder dairy farmers active in the southern region, the main milk producing area of Malawi. With membership numbering over 10,000, SHMPA producers account for over 90% of milk producers nationally. During restructuring of the national dairy sector in 1998, the Government of Malawi handed over most of the responsibility for milk marketing and service delivery to the association and SHMPA’s work expanded significantly. Membership consists entirely of smallholder farmers selling their milk through Milk Bulking Groups (MBGs), over 50% of whom are female. SHMPA provides access to extension services including technical support, training, and agricultural inputs, as well as links with MBGs which can support farmers with access to finance and other benefits.
SHMPA has implemented dairy development projects funded by Oxfam, the EU (European Union) (2002-2011), DFID (Department for International Development) (2012-17) and JOA (2018-2021). The RJAHS has worked with SHMPA since 2018 as the key implementing partner in the MDG (Malawi Dairy Growth) Phase I project (2018-2021) having been identified in 2017 as a farmer-owned cooperative that could deliver at scale to resource-poor households. During this time, the Society has developed a close working relationship with SHMPA, who have also built a network with our other partners, including at the 2019 regional dairy conference in Kigali, Rwanda where SHMPA led a presentation on their project approach to regional stakeholders.
Project Mercy Inc.
Project Mercy is the Society’s in-country partner on our three-year Dairy for Development project in Ethiopia (2020-23). Originally formed in the United States in the late 1970s to provide remote relief to refugees in Africa, Project Mercy established a permanent presence in Yetebon, Ethiopia in 1993 to provide a small-scale education and health programme. Over the years, Project Mercy’s remit has expanded from a faith-led humanitarian relief provider to a community development organisation with multiple hubs providing programmes in education, health care and rural development. This has included establishing a cattle breeding farm at Cha Cha – a small town approximately 50k northeast of Addis Abba – which has already provided over 130 Jersey heifers to families in need. The Society’s project with Project Mercy (2020-23), funded by Jersey Overseas Aid, seeks to greatly expand the services offered by the breeding farm to improve the productivity, incomes and food security of beneficiary farmers, by improving service delivery and genetic quality of the local dairy cattle population. We will also work with Project Mercy to increase awareness of the Jersey breed and good breed management practices among influential stakeholders in the region and nationally.
Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health (CTLGH)
The RJAHS partners with the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health (CTLGH) in our overseas work in dairy cattle genetics. CTLGH is an international research collective formed as a partnership between the Roslin Institute of the University of Edinburgh, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). Bringing together a network of world- leading experts from multiple institutions, the Centre is at the forefront of global research in livestock genetics and health, in support of attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Originally engaged in 2019 to support the Jersey Inka Nziza project (Phase II) with cattle genetic profiling and development of a dairy profit index for Rwanda, the Society’s work with CTLGH has now expanded to our projects in Malawi and Ethiopia, allowing cross-pollination of findings between projects. The Centre maintains a hub in Edinburgh, as well as Nairobi and Addis Ababa through ILRI.
Pan Livestock Services Ltd. - University of Reading
PAN Livestock Services Limited (PAN) has close academic links with the Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics Research Unit (VEERU) at the University of Reading. PAN works with farmers, businesses and governments to support healthy and sustainable livestock systems both in the UK and internationally. The role of livestock information is central to these activities which range from national livestock databases for livestock registration and traceability (in Malta and Kosovo) through to on-farm herd management and support of extension activities in large and smallholder livestock systems. In the UK the company has worked with Europe’s largest milk recording organisation, NMR (National Milk Records), since 2001 and their livestock database has been operational in Malta as an EU-approved national livestock database since 2003. The Society is partnering with PAN to support our livestock related activities in Malawi and Ethiopia, as well as in Rwanda, where the Society is collaborating with government to develop a national cattle database.