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Bill Gates charity to fund East African dairy project expansion

By Mark Astley+

17-Jan-2014

In a worldwide Secret Santa hosted by Reddit, Bill Gates donated a cow to a family in a third-world country through Heifer International on behalf of a woman from New York.
In a worldwide Secret Santa hosted by Reddit, Bill Gates donated a cow to a family in a third-world country through Heifer International on behalf of a woman from New York.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has donated $25.5m (€18.75m) to Heifer International to expand its East Africa Dairy Development (EADD) project - a program designed to assist small scale farmers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania “profitably participate in the growing dairy industry.”

In 2008, the EADD project was implemented in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda on the back of an initial $51.3m grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates’ latest donation will enable Heifer International to expand the project to Tanzania while scaling up their efforts in Kenya and Uganda.

According to Heifer International, the project is “strengthening the relationship between farmers, processors, distributors and consumers” in a region where “demand for fresh milk is close to outstripping supply.”

Commenting, Elizabeth Bintliff, vice president for Africa programs at Heifer International, said: “Our goal is to change the face of the dairy industry in order to improve food security, nutrition and create sustainable livelihoods for the East Africa community.”

“We will be paying attention to activity in the dairy chain at all levels, from production systems at the household level to the hubs to processors and policy makers, all the while working to ensure that the gains of the project are not just economic but social as well," Bintliff added.

Heifer International is seeking to raise an additional $16m over the next five years to fully fund the second phase of the EADD project.

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