This will be the final update for this project, as we are rolling it into larger ongoing initiatives that are going to be a part of some major work going forward!
That being said, we wanted to offer one last look into where things currently stand with one area we're exploring for income viability: cows.
Mavuno has been discussing the feasibility of implementing a cow project as a way to generate income for the organization. There is a demand in Beni territory for fresh milk, with few suppliers, thus creating a gap that could be filled by devoting existing assets to developing a small milk operation. The existing assets refer to the land and infrastructure in Somicar that could be used to house and support a pilot cow project.
Some of our team members traveled to Masaka, Uganda to visit an established cow project supported by US-based Microfinancing Partners in Africa in partnership with Caritas Maddo, a Catholic NGO that has been in existence for over 40 years. The purpose of the trip was to see firsthand the type of infrastructure needed to ensure high levels of milk production. The methods used in raising and caring for cattle have a direct impact on their ability to produce large quantities of milk. In Masaka, the cows in the MPA program average 15 – 22 liters a day, and are cared for through a collaborative program between Caritas Maddo veterinarian technicians and the local farmers who own the cows.
The Uganda project can serve as a framework for what is possible in the DRC, albeit with modifications. For example, the Uganda project provides one cow to individual farmers, who then pass on the first female calf to another participant. Each farmer must finance and construct the cow sheds on their own, and once the shed and training are completed thy sign a contract indicating ownership and receive a cow. This entire process may take anywhere from six months to two years, depending on the circumstances of the farmer.
We are excited about the potential this holds for future economic development. As we continue working on these projects, please stay up to date with us on our social media channels and website. Thank you for contributing to this work, and we look forward to continuing to work with you on these initiatives in the future!