In a momentous event marking the culmination of impactful years, the SNV TIDE (The Inclusive Dairy Enterprise) project bid farewell in a closeout conference held on November 30th, 2023, in Kampala, Uganda. This five-year program, funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and implemented by SNV, aimed to uplift dairy farming in South Western Uganda, focusing on technical skills, productivity, and livelihood improvement. This follows a similar closeout event that took place in Mbarara, Uganda.
Led by Martin De Jong, the SNV TIDE project manager, the project has achieved remarkable success. The 25 Million Euros initiative focused on four key areas: establishing practical dairy training farms, supporting on-farm investments, strengthening cooperatives, and enhancing dairy services. The overarching goal was not only to increase productivity but also to improve milk quality and household nutrition.
The project's achievements are evident across various fronts. Over 100 youth, working with factories like Pearl Dairies and dairy cooperatives, have been trained in cow feed ration software development to enhance livestock nutrition. In terms of forage adoption, farmers have witnessed a 30 percent increase in milk production, with over 800 acres dedicated to improved forages. The introduction of Rumen Software, a diet formulation tool, led to a 25% boost in milk production and a 20% increase in incomes.
The TIDE project also played a pivotal role in recruiting and supporting milk processors, contributing to improvements in butter-fat averages and reductions in added water. Through the implementation of a track and trace system, the project addressed concerns about antibiotic residues, ensuring the quality and safety of dairy products.
SNV Uganda Country Director, Phomolo Maphosa, emphasized the importance of integrating smallholder farmers into policy and participation in the agricultural value chain to sustain these achievements. The success of the project is not only evident in economic terms but also in the significant role it played in Uganda's dairy sector, which accounts for 9% of the country's GDP.
In a speech at the TIDE project Close-out Conference, Ms. Phomolo Maphosa highlighted the project's contribution to the dairy sector's growth.
The project, spanning eight impactful years, aligned with national priorities outlined in the 2022 Dairy Policy Action Plan. The achievements, including a 90% increase in annual milk production, job creation, and the School Milk and Yoghurt Program benefiting nearly a million children, showcase the project's comprehensive and sustainable impact.
As Uganda looks toward the future, the lessons learned from the TIDE project will guide further initiatives. The focus on inclusivity, holistic farming systems, and collaboration with various stakeholders will be pivotal in ensuring the sustained growth and transformation of the dairy sub-sector. There is a Woman power dairy magazine that is being published to celebrate the TIDE woman empowerment.
The TIDE project's close marks not just an end but a new beginning for Uganda's dairy sector, with stakeholders urged to build on the legacy left behind and continue the journey towards a more robust and sustainable agricultural landscape.
Dairy Advisor - Training Extension Advisory
Communication officer NEADAP