News and updates on research on livestock value chains by the International Livestock Research Institute and partners

Friday, February 17, 2006

CEOs of East African dairy boards endorse harmonized milk training curricula for informal traders

Chief executives of dairy boards in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda met in Nairobi in February 2006 to endorse harmonized regional generic training guides and curricula that were developed for training of informal milk traders in the eastern and central Africa region.

The training guides are based on common minimum standards needed for hygienic handling of milk and dairy products. The documents form the basis of a certification and licensing scheme for the region's small-scale traders that will enable them to sell their milk freely across borders.

ILRI and ECAPAPA -- the agricultural policy analysis programme of the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) -- facilitated a meeting of the chief executives of dairy regulatory authorities of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda from 8 to 10 February 2006 at the Hotel Intercontinental, Nairobi.

The meeting marked the start of the “action” phase of the project on Rationalisation and harmonisation of dairy policies, regulations and standards in eastern Africa, following an earlier dialogue phase among dairy stakeholders and the dairy boards in the four countries over the past year that was also facilitated by ILRI and ECAPAPA.

Also present were the project’s national resource persons, who were nominated by their respective national dairy boards, and regional resource persons Amos Omore and Tezira Lore of ILRI and Lusato Kurwijila of Sokoine University of Agriculture.

Participants discussed harmonised regional generic dairy training guides and curricula that had been developed in the initial phase of the current ECAPAPA/ILRI project. The documents were based on defined minimum competencies for hygienic milk handling along the informal milk market chain, following lessons from past projects by ILRI and collaborators in Kenya (e.g. the Smallholder Dairy Project). The documents were endorsed as a basis for certification and licensing of small-scale milk traders in the region, thus allowing the traders to sell their milk freely across borders.

The chief executives in Tanzania and Uganda also undertook to pilot a new institutional approach involving Business Development Services (BDS) to ensure sustainable delivery of the training services that will be a pre-requisite for certification.

Nick Hooton of the ILRI-ODI project on Process and partnership for pro-poor policy change facilitated a session on learning of lessons on the process of pro-poor policy and institutional change in the dairy sub-sectors in the region, including the role of processes such as this one.

Electronic copies of these manuals may be downloaded from ILRI's repository of research outputs.