“EDGET has supported different dairy value chain actors. ‘’By strengthening dairy extension service delivery system, enhancing access to dairy inputs & services and addressing the market challenge of small holders, the project enabled development of a stronger Ethiopian dairy sector’’ said Dr. Gebre Egziabher Gebre Yohannes, ex-state minister for Livestock and Fisheries of Ethiopia, visiting EDGET project households in Amhara Region.
SNV after implementing Enhancing Dairy Sector Growth in Ethiopia (EDGET) from 2013 to 2018 conducted a final evaluation. The evaluation document revealed that EDGET’s intervention in extension, input supply, forage and seed solution, and output market systems made “significant and valuable contributions in strengthening inclusive dairy value chains in Ethiopia” (EDGET Project Final Evaluation: 2018).
Extension system: EDEGT strengthened the extension system in four regions through capacity development trainings, enhancing dairy farmer extension groups, distribution of dairy inputs (calf feed, forage seed and Milking and Transportation can - MTSWoreda Livestock Officers and Development Agents were the majority of the participants in the trainings related to dairy development approach and technical issues. Extension service providers have accessed these trainings and will keep contributing in the sector in providing extension services to farmers to sustain dairy development even beyond the life of the project. The dairy farmer groups are tools for adoption of improved practices by reaching a larger number of farmers. As per the evaluation report 68% of intervention farmers are members of these groups. Most of the intervention farmers have participated at least in one dairy related training or exposure visit. Dairy farmers have received forage seed, calf feed and MTS. The project distributed 97,000 cans to EDGET and non-EDGET dairy farmers. A lady farmer Beletu Bonsa said, the MTS is simple to hold, to handle and also much easier to clean, something every farmer shared. Processors also approved of MTS for its contribution in increasing household income from dairy as it reduces rejection due to dirt materials.
Adoption of dairy good management practices: A total of 34 different good practices related to animal health, hygienic milking practices, forage production, housing and manure management, calf management and feeding were assessed. Statistically significant differences were found for a total of 16 specific practices, i.e. where a higher proportion of intervention than comparison group farmers were found to have reported adoption of the practices.
The end line study gathered data on a total of 34 practices related to improved forage and animal feed, milking and milk transportation, animal health, calf management, housing and manure management and climate smart practices. Adoption rates were found to be significantly higher for 16 of these practices in the intervention group than in the comparison group.
Input supply system: to increase access to high-quality inputs and services, information and technologies the project has promoted agro-input dealership scheme. The agro-dealers played a key role in filling gaps in access to quality feed (than the traders) at a more affordable price (than high end feed businesses) and are incrementally adding more product lines (e.g. forage seed, milk collections and other non-dairy farm inputs). The agro-input dealers (AgIDs) could serve as promising distribution channels for dairy related inputs with their businesses growing (volume of goods, expanding customer base and profitability).
Forage Seed and Forage solution: the farmers’ engagement in production and distribution or sale of forage and forage seeds contributed in improving access to improved seed and forage and hence less production cost to farmers and increased productivity. Due to EDGET, there is growing and relatively widespread recognition that feeding appropriate types of forage increases the quantity and quality of milk produced.
Output market systems: EDGET’s approach to developing output markets for milk and milk products focuses on the establishment of Dairy Processing Units (DPUs) - at the woreda (mainly) and kebele (in some cases) levels. The increase in milk production calls for immediate market for the products. In the project period EDGET has supported the establishment as well as strengthening of 54 dairy Processing centres and 38 milk collection centres. In the implementation areas average household net income has increased from ETB 792 to 6,221 (increase of 7.8 times) per household. The evaluation found that DPUs address – or have the potential to address – key gaps in existing output markets for milk and milk products and ensuring quality and standard. Overall SNV’s support in establishing and developing DPUs has been effective, but market development is not linear and contextual factors are a challenge.