On the 11 January 2013, the Babo Gaya Saving and Credit Cooperative leaders and members in Ada district, Oromia hosted participants from the IFPRI-ILRI workshop on Evaluating the Impacts of Agricultural Development Programming on Gender Inequalities, Asset Disparities, and Rural Livelihoods. The cooperative was initiated by 19 women 11 years ago; it now has 96 members – including 4 men. The cooperative is highly involves in dairy production and marketing in a location where the IPMS project undertoook many capacity development, linkage creation and input supply activities in the past six years.
The visitors interacted with women dairy farmers and cooperative members to learn and share 10 years knowledge and experiences of saving and credit service provision, smallholder dairy production, organized milk distribution and marketing mechanisms, challenges with milk marketing and the mismatch with the production cost (feed, veterinary services, labour).
During the discussion, visitors shared with the women dairy farmers and cooperative members some insights on ways in which these women can boost their financial capacity, have better governance capacity and access to better technologies such as milk chilling equipment that prolong the quality of the milk. Some of the visitors shared the experience of the East Africa Dairy Development project in facilitating provision of milk chilling equipment for rural dairy farmers to keep the high quality of the milk.
The trip also visited a dairy farm owned and run by a woman farmer named Tigist Woyecha. She is the founding member and current treasurer of Babo Gaya Saving and Credit Cooperative. She has six cows and four heifers. All her dairy animals are crosses Holstein breed. In addition to the milk she gets from her cows, she also produces Biogas from the waste and also uses it as manure for her floriculture garden, which she started recently.
This visit was facilitated by IPMS project gender staff Ephrem Tesema and Lemlem Aregu, Nancy Johnson from ILRI/University of Minnesota, Guta Assefa from Ada’a district Office of Agriculture.
Contributed by Ephrem Tesema and Lemlem Aregu