Building Rural Income through inclusive Dairy Business Growth in Ethiopia (BRIDGE)

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The BRIDGE project (2018 - 2023) brings together the experience of Wageningen University and Research (WUR) and SNV to contribute to the development of an inclusive dairy sector in Ethiopia, which produces accessible, affordable, quality, nutritious and safe dairy products. The project, funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ethiopia, started in 2018 and will continue until 2023.

BRIDGE builds on the SNV EDGET (2012 - 2018) and the WUR DairyBISS projects.

Ethiopia's economy is growing and demand for quality, nutritious foods is increasing. At the same time, many people still suffer from malnutrition and undernourishment. The dairy sector in the country struggles to scale as the sector consists mainly of smallholder famers who use low productive breeds and suffer from a lack of access to resources and services, such as input supplies, veterinary and extension services.

Supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, WUR and SNV combined their expertise to develop the BRIDGE project with the aim to professionalise the Ethiopian dairy sector, increase incomes and produce safe nutritious food for all consumers. The project targets 120,000 farming households and has four main outcomes:

  1. improving milk production,
  2. improving collection, processing and marketing,
  3. improved connection to consumer markets, and
  4. improving the policy environment.

The project will explicitly make use of Dutch dairy (private) sector expertise and has targeted strategies on gender, climate change and youth employment. The project partners will define detailed activities during the first phase of the project.

BRIDGE is a follow-up to the EDGET project, which in turn built on the Mass Hormonal Synchronisation and Insemination Project, the breed improvement programme of the Government of Ethiopia. EDGET supported 65,000 dairy farmer households to achieve 100% income increase from dairy within five years. To qualify as an EDGET programme participant, households needed to have at least 1 to 3 milking cows and they should be willing to allocate 0.25 hectare of land for fodder production and adopt improved technologies. The project also improved the nutritional status of 500,000 children, particularly in the first 1,000 days of their lives, through consumption of milk products.

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