SNV builds business opportunities for smallholder dairy farmers in developing countries to participate in commercial value chains We build solid and fair markets with the objective to increase farmers’ incomes and make safe, nutritious foods available to all consumers. We accelerate investments in the sector, increase productivity, strengthen input supplies, connect farmers to markets, professionalise service provision, and work with governments and stakeholders to strengthen value chain governance and the enabling environment.

The demand for dairy products in developing countries is rising rapidly, due to an increase in both populations and GDPs, most notably in economies with a fast growing middle class.

In developing countries, the majority of the milk supply comes from small and medium-scale farmers. A lack of practical skills, low quality of fodder and inputs, a lack of extension services, technology and logistics to access markets are some key constraints that hamper their growth and ability to meet the increasing domestic demand. Greenhouse gas emissions by cattle and adherence to food safety standards are two additional concerns for the sector. These challenges can be addressed with increased professionalization and commercialisation of the sector.

Our approach

We work at the forefront of the ‘aid to trade’ agenda: we leverage Dutch dairy expertise and accelerate investments in the sector, to build competitive markets and stimulate a viable path for sustainable development. Lasting change can only be achieved if local actors shape and drive their own agendas. SNV supports the private sector, government agencies and other local partners to develop the necessary infrastructure and support services for an inclusive and commercially viable dairy sector.

We work with farmers and cooperatives to increase production, connect farmers to commercial markets, and improve the quality of input supplies and services. At the same time we work with governments and stakeholders to create enabling environments and improve value chain governance that will create sustainable and scalable results. SNV's dairy value chain approach consists of the following elements:

  • Evergreen Farms: we improve value chain efficiencies and increase production by promoting green technologies. This leads to increased climate change resilience, decreased use of resources and a reduced carbon footprint.
  • Public Private Partnerships: SNV supports public-private partnerships to ensure inclusive value chain governance, and the involvement of all stakeholders in tackling and developing innovative and sustainable solutions to complex problems;
  • Smart Extension: through innovative extension services, SNV achieves effective uptake of sustainable and climate-smart production methods.
  • Market system development: we analyse local challenges and identify opportunities to grow the value chain.
  • Inclusive Business: by working with smallholder farmers, the private and public sector to jointly develop dairy investment and service delivery solutions, we ensure that smallholder and medium sized milk producers are included in value chain development.
  • Financing: access to financing is crucial to accelerate growth and leverage improved production as well as more efficient value chains. We also co-invest in processor and other private sector led business plans to galvanise opportunities that stimulate inclusive growth for smallholder farmers, increase yields, contribute to climate resilience and increase the availability of nutritious foods for all consumers - all with a specific focus on the inclusion of women and young people;

Our projects also improve consumers’ dietary behaviour and address gender imbalances to realise sustainable nutrition for all; promote the equal sharing of benefits and create employment opportunities for young people, through our dedicated methodologies - Sustainable Nutrition for All (SN4A), Balancing Benefits, and Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE) respectively.

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