Corteva Agriscience, Land O’Lakes Venture37, Bidco Land O’Lakes, Forage Genetics International (FGI), and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) announced an alliance that aims to strengthen dairy production in central Kenya.

The project will help advance the sustainable farming practices of more than 5 000 women smallholder dairy farmers and ease the annual 2,2 billion litre shortage of dairy products in the country.

Increasing the supply of nutritional dairy products

This group of private sector, non-profit research organisations will engage in a two-year programme designed to increase the supply of nutritional dairy products available to local communities. In addition, it will guide women smallholder farmers in methods that bolster the production of nutrient-rich forages (maize silage and hay). These forages provide reliable feed for dairy cattle, improving milk production and reducing dairy production cost.

“Kenya has the highest per capita consumption of milk in Africa, at 120 litres, compared with the African average of 50 litres,” said Joseph Anampiu, Corteva Agriscience commercial unit leader for East Africa.

“Consumption is projected to nearly double to 220 litres by 2030, backed by a milk demand growth rate of 7% per annum. As a leader in agricultural innovation and a collaborator with farmers, we are committed to providing tools and training to help increase yield stability, optimise inputs and improve climate resilience.”

Sustainability goals to boost dairy production

In June, Corteva announced its 2030 sustainability goals. The goals span a wide range of initiatives for farmers, the land, communities and its operations. The company pledged to help increase dairy production, incomes and sustainable farming practices of smallholder farmers as well as to empower women in their communities.

“Supporting the needs of farmers – large and small – is central to our purpose at Corteva,” said Anne Alonzo, senior vice-president of external affairs and chief sustainability officer at Corteva Agriscience. “Through this collaboration, we will make an immediate impact on the lives of these Kenyan women smallholder farmers, their families and their communities.”

Supporting smallholder farmers

The alliance combines Corteva’s leadership in agricultural inputs and support of smallholder farmers with FGI’s private sector leadership in the forage industry. ILRI brings local, world-renowned forage research and development capabilities and livestock management practices to the programme.

Land O’Lakes Venture37 will contribute its extensive experience in adapting advanced technologies and techniques to the smallholder farmer level and facilitating last-mile delivery of key inputs for dairy production. Bidco Land O’Lakes, a Kenya-based feed manufacturer, works closely with these collaborators to offer compound feed that complements effective forages.

“This alliance, through its advancement of animal nutrition in Kenya’s dairy production sector, is simultaneously advancing human nutrition and human success. This is a shining example of Land O’Lakes’ guiding purpose: feeding human progress,” said John Ellenberger, executive director of Land O’Lakes Venture37. “Through its combination of private sector investment, local expertise, applied data and technologies, and last-mile delivery, this alliance is helping to make markets work more effectively for lower-resource populations. Strategic alliances like these are a foundational element of our current work and future ambitions.”

Tiffany Atwell, global government and industry affairs leader at Corteva Agriscience, highlighted the alliance during a panel presentation at the African Green Revolution Forum Virtual Summit. The summit discussed the critical role women play in agriculture as well as how government policies can build more inclusive agriculture and food systems.

For more information on Corteva’s work with smallholder farmers and its 2030 sustainability goals, visit their website. – Press release, Corteva Agriscience