Friday September 8th, 19 new dairy advisors have graduated for the dairy production training organised by the DairyBISS project. The certificates are handed over by Mr. Jan-Willem Nibbering of the Netherlands Embassy to Ethiopia. In July, 13 dairy business advisors already received their certificates.
Theory, practice and skills
With a presentation of their final practical assignment, the dairy production advisors graduated for the second round of the DairyBISS’ dairy production training. The training took place between January and July and consisted of 6 training modules, including housing, feed and fodder, young stock and record keeping, health, fertility and breeding, and farm economics. The training includes theoretical as well as practical exercises in which the trainees are asked to put their advising skills into practice.
Demand for skilled dairy advisors
The DairyBISS project aims to contribute to the improvement of commercial dairy farming in Ethiopia. Currently the increasing demand for dairy products in urban areas is stimulating investments in the development of medium and large-scale dairy farms. However, proper knowledge and skills to manage these larger farms is hardly available in Ethiopia. That is why DairyBISS commenced a training program for technical and business advisors with special focus on practical skills and coaching. The technical advisors are trained in all practical aspects of dairy farm management. The business advisors learn to develop and to evaluate investment plans in the dairy sector for milk production as well as milk processing.
Willingness to pay for quality services
In July, thirteen dairy business development advisors received their certificate in the second training programme for dairy business development, a joined training program of DairyBISS, AGP-LMD and Ambo University, conducted from March to July 2017 based on eight modules succeeded by coaching on practical assignments that were linked to each module. Marc Steen, the chief of party AGP-LMD, stated during the graduation ceremony in July: “The demand for quality business development services by value chain actors is growing along with increasing willingness to pay for quality product/services. This training is key step to enable business development service providers to be responsive and effective for the new prospect of the sector”. Dr Mulugeta Negeri, Dean of collage of agriculture and veterinary science of Ambo University, added “The dairy sector cannot properly develop if business development services are not strong and proactive”.
The trained advisors are being supported by the development of a Dairy Advisor Network. The idea behind the network is that advisors in the network will enhance their service level to farmers, which in turn makes it more attractive for farmers to engage them. Ultimately this will enhance the dependability of this new group of service providers. The next meeting of the network will be on September 26 in Addis Ababa.
Besides the dairy production and business development training programmes, DairyBISS is developing a specific training programme for dairy processing. The training will be executed at the end of 2017.