Short Summary of the USAID-DRDF Dairy Project


Short Summary of the USAID-DRDF Dairy Project

Jul 15, 2011 – Jan 18, 2017

Project Objective:

The Objective of USAID-DRDF Dairy Project was to maximize the incomes of poor small dairy holders and young men and women living in the same communities. This would be achieved by augmenting farmers’ skills in dairy farming and livestock management alongside the access to resources to improve the infrastructure at their farms. In the same communities where those farmers were working, unemployed poor young men and women would be taught employable dairy extension services skills, and would be given access to required equipment, supplies and to the clients so that they could become self-employed entrepreneurs, and earn their livelihood and improve their socio-economic status. The project would also support commercial relationships among farmers, input suppliers and service providers (including financial service providers) along the dairy value chain.


The Dairy Project was designed as a Public Private Partnership between USAID and Nestle Pakistan to improve the economic lives of Pakistani small dairy holders who were stuck in subsistence farming and were unable to break the nexus of perpetuating poverty. For the purpose, a home-grown solution and a local implementing partner was developed to take on the task on hand.

The Dairy Project choose Dairy and Rural Development Foundation (DRDF), a local not for profit entity, as its implementation partner. The project over the next five years expanded its outreach to over 49,000 small holder dairy farmers, and initially focused on teaching best practices in dairy production while adopting the value chain approach. It was equally important at the same time that unemployed local youth (boys and girls) was integrated into the dairy supply chain, as extension service providers. More specifically, these extension service providers would provide artificial insemination, feeding & fodder, curative and preventive health services alongside securing contract with large milk processors for the sales of milk to ensure stable cash flow and incomes.

In the first phase, small dairy holders were taught techniques on how to improve milk yields and manage their cattle stock. In the second phase, farmers were given access to cost share grants, and microfinance to improve their sheds, create cold chain for storage, buy farm equipment and to pay for the extension services such as artificial insemination, fodder, silage, curative and preventive healthcare.

In order for the extension services market to take off on a commercial basis, 6,000 moderately educated unemployed women were trained, to provide supplies and services related to health and feed. Likewise, another 2,500 young men were trained as artificial service providers. All of these professionals were trained under the supervision of the most prestigious veterinary university, and an independent testing and certification process was put in place to add credibility and reliability to the service quality.

The project also promoted commercially sustainable linkages among small dairy farmers, input suppliers, service providers (including financial service providers), and the higher-end milk processors. The project also upgraded 118 dairy farms to serve as service and supply hubs, to create a demonstration effect, and instill a behavior change. In doing so, the project also developed a culturally sensitive outreach campaign, including the development of 5-6 minutes long training videos that can be freely shared using any social media platform and can be viewed on any mobile phone. The project also believed that sensitizing children and women is equally import for a long-term behavior change and for changing the small dairy farm management approach hence a thirty-minute-long scripted play was produced for live performance in the communities, called “Street Theatre”. The stage for the theater was mounted on a truck that remained on the road for over two years along with actors and performers. All these outreach efforts helped to get the message across to another one million farmers.

re_Farmer with extension worker at his farm re_A training Session for Women Extension Workers

   A farmer with an extension worker at his farm A training session for women extension workers

Project Results at the Close Out in January 2017

  • Increased participants’ small dairy holders’ incremental sales by $9.5 million.
  • Directly trained and supported 49,430 small dairy farmers in best dairy farm practices and linked them to high-value milk buyers resulting in 17% increase in their milk yield and at minimum 10% increase in their household income; on average $60/ month.
  • Created 8,523 new jobs.
  • Trained and supported 2,489 unemployed poor male youth in artificial insemination techniques, and establish them as self-employed breed improvement service providers earning on average US$80 per month serving farmers in 29,000 villages,
  • Trained and supported 6,034 unemployed and poor females from the same communities providing other extension services as self-employed providers who on average started earning $17 per month. Though the income average is low, yet it is a huge cultural and social change that culturally empowered them more than what we anticipated.
  • Established a consistent supply chain through capacity building of the partner organization, Dairy and Rural Development Foundation (DRDF), which is providing a reliable supply of breeding products to project-trained artificial insemination technicians.
  • The project awareness and behavior change messaging reaching out to 3 million farmers with information on dairy best practices. Also created video training modules in local languages available through mobile phone to augment continued learning.
  • Strategically selected 118 upgraded demonstration farms serving as services and supply hubs
  • Two commercial and community biogas plants commissioned successfully with free access to technology, drawings and designs – developed by a U.S. firm.
  • Four Agriculture and Veterinary Universities now have dedicated desks giving free of cost access to all project related training materials and M&E data to researchers, students, famers and faculty alike; it has resulted in the improvement of syllabus and curriculum.
  • The capacity of a local non-government, not for profit organization, Dairy and Rural Development Foundation (DRDF) was developed that achieved financial sustainability to carry on with the project activities beyond the life of the project. The organization is still functional and serving small farmers in over 5,000 villages across Pakistan.

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TEL : +81-(0)3-6439-6000     
FAX : +81-(0)3-6439-6010


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