Heifer International launches $23.8m project

Heifer International — the global hunger nonprofit organisation — is launching a new $23.8 million project in Nepal, with the goal of assisting 138,000 small-scale farmers.

The project will focus on goat and dairy production, and on reducing reliance on imports for its protein needs, it said.

The project will work in 28 districts to build up goat and dairy enterprises over the course of five years. Demand for these products is high but the country depends on imports to satisfy the need. By strengthening local production, Heifer hopes to reduce the number of goats being imported into the country by about 30 per cent by the year 2016, and reduce milk imports by 10 per cent.

Heifer International will expand its work helping thousands of farmers move from vulnerability to self-reliance, said the project that aims to increase meat and milk productivity in the target areas through improved animal management techniques, and then help participants form trade alliances. By forming community groups and cooperatives, farmers can better connect with buyers, Heifer added.

The project will employ Heifer’s unique holistic training system to empower its participants for the long term. In addition to learning how to properly care for their animals, participants will be educated in areas like money management, gender equality, literacy, community collaboration and entrepreneurship.

With the foundation in place, small-scale farmers can not only feed their own families, but also work together to find larger markets for more dairy products.

Heifer International has worked in Nepal since 1977 to reduce poverty and build sustainable family enterprises with animals like sheep, goats, ducks and water buffalo. Now, Heifer is confident that in areas of where there is dire poverty, its new goat and dairy project can create transformative and lasting change.(Source: The Himalayan Times)

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