The United States and the Netherlands Work Together to Strengthen Ethiopia’s Dairy Sector

The agreement will increase the incomes of thousands of small-scale farmers engaged in Ethiopia’s dairy sector 

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, September 3, 2015 – The U.S. Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands signed an agreement today to work together on the development of Ethiopia’s dairy sector. The collaboration will provide significant expertise from both sides to benefit suppliers, farmers, processors, consumers and exporters engaged in the dairy sector.

The U.S. Government and the Kingdom of the Netherlands have been at the forefront of supporting the Ethiopian dairy sector for nearly a decade.

“Our efforts over the years have contributed to its development from an embryonic state several years ago, to an industry with the potential to boom into a significant revenue generating sector for Ethiopia,” said USAID Ethiopia Mission Director Dennis Weller. “This partnership between the U.S. Government and the Kingdom of the Netherlands marks a historic milestone in both countries’ efforts to support the development Ethiopia’s dairy sector.”

USAID, through its Livestock Market Development activity, and the Embassy of the Netherlands, through its Dairy Business Information Service and Support (Dairy BISS) project, will bring their respective and specific expertise and experiences to the sector. The agreement to cooperate over the next two years is expected to greatly benefit the Ethiopian dairy sector.

By supporting dairy processing plants which cover tens of thousands of small-scale farmers, the joint effort will not only ensure that a market is created for dairy farmers but also encourage them to produce more high-quality milk to meet the demands of processors. This, in turn, will contribute to improved consumer safety.

“Through this MoU, the US Government and the Kingdom of the Netherlands not only establish a formal framework for fruitful collaboration in an important and complex sector which the dairy sector is, thereby adding value to our respective individual efforts and having a greater impact on the sector, but at the same time, we also send a message to the wider world highlighting that we should work together as donor governments as much as possible in order to achieve the synergies that are indispensable to making development cooperation efforts successful,” said Mr. Martin Koper, Deputy Head of Mission/Head of Development Cooperation of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

USAID’s Livestock Market Development is a five-year project implemented as part of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative which aims to improve smallholder incomes and the nutritional status of people living in four regions of Ethiopia.

DairyBISS is a three-year project funded by the Netherlands with the aim of increasing the number of profitable dairy farms and firms in the Ethiopian private dairy sector by  improving Business to Business (B2B) relations, the availability and utilization of quality business information, and advice.