LAHORE – During his visit to Lahore, Mission Director for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Pakistan John Groarke joined Minister for Livestock and Dairy Development Asif Saeed Manais to celebrate the achievements and successful completion of USAID’s Dairy Project, implemented by the Dairy and Rural Development Foundation (DRDF).

This five-year, $21 million project promoted sustainable dairy development in Punjab.

Through a partnership with the Government of Punjab and Nestlé Pakistan, the project improved the lives of over 50,000 small dairy farmers through its skills-based training programs, resulting in a 17 percent increase in the average milk yield and an over 10 percent boost in farmers’ incomes.

Every intervention of the project added value, generated further income for small farmers, and created jobs for rural men and women. The project also upgraded 118 farms now serving as training hubs for small dairy farmers, installed a pilot 50 cubic meter biogas plant for a dairy cooperative milk chiller in Vehari, and constructed a 375 cubic meter biogas plant at the government-owned Bahadurnagar Farm in Okara.

To ensure sustainability and to further share knowledge acquired through the project, all training modules, print material and videos have been placed in the libraries of five universities in Punjab. The project’s website will continue to be maintained by the DRDF, as will the helpline offering guidance and advice to dairy farmers.

The event featured a theatre performance and a talk-show for an audience; over 200 representatives from the Punjab Livestock Department, dairy industry, academia, NGOs, beneficiaries, and project staff were in attendance.