Decent Income Through Dairy
TANUJ AND VANI
Tanuj and Vani have experienced much heartbreak in their lives. They had a good life and a happy family until the war. Both of their sons got caught up in the fighting, though Vani begged them desperately to flee. Their elder son died in the war and although their younger son returned home, he turned to heroin and disappeared shortly after, leaving his wife to bring up after their children. Tanuj and Vani desperately want to get their son help, but their priority at the moment is to start earning a stable income for themselves and for their daughter-in-law and grandchildren. They refuse to let the war make victims out of any more of their family members.
The village that Tanuj and Vani live in, Theravil, is in the north of Sri Lanka. The dairy sector is profitable, however there are a range of barriers that keep the poor excluded or not being engaged effectively. Although many of the poor couldn’t take on the financial risk to purchase a cow, those who could, often chose not to, as vets are not easily accessible, lack of milk quantity produced in the village discourages buyers, and lack of buyers discourages the production of quality milk. In the village, because of all these barriers, farmers are reluctant to take loans and purchase hybrid cows, despite their significantly higher yield. There are currently no farmers in the village that know how to manage hybrid cows.
This is the cycle of exclusion. However, it can be addressed through targeted and systemic efforts. This is exactly what our project seeks to do.
WHAT WE ARE DOING
We will work with the government vet services and other private market actors to lift the knowledge base of farmers and introduce them to new cattle management practices. This begins with building and management of cow sheds, semi intensive cattle management practices, self-production of inputs and among other things feed management. We will connect farmers to all the necessary actors so they have continued access to these services, working with these services to strengthen their reach into the village where needed.
It is critical that we not only work with those in the sector, but vulnerable families who need to enter this sector to earn a decent income. We will provide subsidies for the purchase of cattle, which will have both a no-interest loan component and a requirement that families pass on the first born calf to another family.
This is a series of many Dairy projects that we are running in this village to address the barriers in this sector. To learn more about the other projects, which will all work together, please see the following links:
HOW WE ARE DOING IT
We will be working with 300 families to start their journey to become dairy farmers of hybrid cattle. We take a systems approach in how we work – transforming the systems that keep the poor economically excluded. What this means is that we look at the root problems in why the poor are not being connected to the dairy sector and work with the community and market actors to address these barriers, one by one.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
This programme gives 300 villagers just like Tanuj and Vani the chance to raise a cow, access essential vet services, and secure a better future for their families. In order to start this project in Theravil, we need to raise $252,719. This works out at $842 per family; only $168 a year over the 5-year programme to help Shanthidevi and her family have a better future.
A WHOLE OF VILLAGE TRANSFORMATION IN THERAVIL
This project is just one of the projects that we are doing in Theravil. We work through a whole of village approach to improve the economic well being of the families and transform the village. We will spend five years in each village breaking down the barriers that prevent the poor from engaging in profitable markets, and earning enough to stand on their own two feet.
This means barriers both in the market as well as those socio-economic barriers that keep vulnerable families economically excluded.
We will achieve this over a five year period, by:
- Supporting the continued increase of income, assets and savings
- Working to economically empower women & men producers so that they have a voice and agency in the homes, communities and the markets in which they work, and
- Working to reduce the vulnerability of families so that they can recover from shocks and sustain their growth out of vulnerability
This project, “Decent income through Dairy” is just one of the many we will be undertaking in this village over the next five years. To learn more about the village vision and the many projects that will come together to enable this change, read more here.