SNV Uganda has signed a four year partnership agreement of 9 million Euro with the Netherlands Embassy in Uganda to implement The Inclusive Dairy Enterprise (TIDE) project in the districts of Bushenyi, Isingiro, Kiruhura, Mbarara, Ntungamo, and Sheema in South Western Uganda.
The dairy sector is in flux in Uganda. While it has been growing strongly for quite a few years, recent developments accelerate the change. At farm level, traditional methods of extensive and communal grazing have been left behind, with paddocking and up-graded breeds becoming more common and improved fodder and feeding starting to generate interest. Up the value chain the introduction of milk coolers and strong increase in processing capacity creates demand and competition. From a net importer of milk, Uganda has grown within a few years as a prominent exporter. Climate change is increasingly affecting dairy systems, while at the same time the dairy sector contributes to climate change. These sector developments validate the choice of TIDE to focus on increasing productivity at the animal and herd level in a climate smart manner.
The TIDE project identifies systemic market constraints, limiting the expansion of the dairy sector. It identifies opportunities for addressing these constraints by taking the lead in the formulation of relevant business cases, with implementation depending on the uptake by the private sector and in partnership with other organisations. Partnerships are sought to either strengthen institutionalisation of project initiatives or to provide leverage for business case implementation. Extensive use is also made of local organisations and expertise in project implementation, including District Local Governments. The nutritional status of dairy farming households will be directly addressed by TIDE, through support for school milk and integrating the teaching of nutrition into the practical training approach. Various types of research and methods will be employed in monitoring and evaluating the TIDE model and implementation.
CDI in TIDE
Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation (CDI) supports TIDE in monitoring, evaluation and learning. Together with Wageningen Livestock Research it undertakes various studies and documents insights to improve the TIDE model and how this is being implemented. The WUR partners also provide specific support in the Climate Smart and Nutrition component of TIDE.
Theory of Change
The project theory of change assumes that dairy farming income increases as a result of increased milk volume of good quality sold. Increased milk volume is primarily influenced by good productivity practices. But revenue from milk production depends also on milk demand and secondly on the price of milk. These are beyond the influence of the project. Moreover, total farm milk volume is determined by the size of the dairy herd, which, in turn, may be influenced by farm investment opportunities, as well as herd reproduction rates (calves), cattle health and survival, and sales and purchasing of cattle. Some of these factors might be influenced by the TIDE project and some may not. The project logic further assumes, that in order to improve cow productivity, farmers have to have good dairy practices (incl. milk hygiene in the full value chain), require access to reliable services and can invest in concrete on-farm improvements.
The key premise of the TIDE ToC is that changes in farmers’ dairy farming practices are dependent on their motivation, ability (knowledge, skill, experience or habit), and means (resources and obstacles) to change. In other words, the behaviour of dairy farmers depends on what they want, know, are used to do, or can do given the context in which they operate. But a farmer’s behaviour is influenced by that of other people; by their motives, abilities and means.
Beyond working towards improving the dairy farming practices, TIDE also focuses on improving the nutritional practices within the dairy households, especially among the women in reproductive age and young children. Two strategies have been identified for that purpose: work with dairy farmers and support to the school milk programme.