Dairy farming knowhow

In southeastern India many people are active in the dairy sector. In the rural areas the sector employs many women, who daily experience various forms of discrimination and exclusion. Arnhem-based CRV aims to help these women through a project supported by Rabo Foundation’s Client Fund.

Development within farming communities

The Indian government has identified the dairy sector as key to the survival of small farming communities in the state of Tamil Nadu and has even set up a special dairy cattle development department to promote milk and dairy products. But women working in the dairy sector rank low in the socio-economic pyramid and are forced to subsist on household incomes of less than €2 a day. Self-help groups have been set up to improve their socio-economic prospects by giving them the opportunity to support one another and to join together in seeking ways to boost their incomes.

Hand in Hand India

Hand in Hand India is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that has been fighting poverty since 2002. The NGO focuses particularly on developing self-help groups for women and set up the microfinance organization Belstar Investment and Finance to assist them. Helped by a loan from Rabobank Foundation, Belstar extends loans to the self-help groups to enable them to buy dairy cows. To further improve the women’s situation and income, Hand in Hand India has also set up the dairy organization Melmalayanoor Dairy Entrepreneurs Mutual Benefit Trust (MBT). MBT offers training courses and provides technical support as well as running a number of milk collection centres. These initiatives enable the women of Tamil Nadu to set up joint income-generating opportunities, so helping them to become more economically independent.

Dairy farming expertise

The MBT dairy organization continues to grow and requires further aid in the area of technical assistance. The Arnhem-based organization CRV is on hand to help. In addition to financial aid for the project via Rabo Foundation Client Fund, CRV is looking at the ways in which it can deploy its expertise to make a real difference for these women. CRV is an international organization for boosting livestock quality which aims to create added value for cattle farmers worldwide. That’s why CRV has chosen to support this project. With its considerable expertise it is well-placed to help the women dairy farmers in India. The women want to learn more about cattle feed, rearing young cattle, breeding, logistics and are seeking tips on how to produce more efficiently. The goal is to create a stable community-run enterprise. As a spin-off, women dairy farmers will enjoy better living standards. Rabo Foundation Client Fund and CRV have embraced this deserving project to help these women achieve their goals.