The United States Government Supports Local Breeders in Senegal to Strengthen Dairy Production Capacity

The West Africa Trade & Investment Hub of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded a co-investment grant of $ 518,000 (CFA) to La Laiterie du Berger, a company that manufactures dairy products from milk produced locally in Senegal. The grant will allow the company to source from 1,150 new breeders and continue its efforts to reduce the country’s dependence on imported milk.

In Senegal, nearly 90% of the milk marketed is imported, generally in the form of powdered milk, while 30% of the Senegalese population are dairy producers who offer enough fresh milk to be able to meet local consumption needs. .

“Our partnership with the Trade Hub will be instrumental in developing the potential of local farmers to deliver fresh milk beyond their surrounding communities, while increasing their incomes and enhancing food security, which is threatened when a commodity as the milk is not bought mainly from local producers ”, explains Bagoré Bathily, CEO of La Laiterie du Berger.

La Laiterie du Berger is the first Senegal-based company to market locally sourced fresh milk in the country. It is also the first Senegalese company to achieve B Corp certification, which recognizes companies that consider the impact of their decisions on workers, customers, suppliers, the community and the environment.

Since its inception in 2007, the company’s sales have grown from $ 0.4 million in the first year to $ 16.5 million in 2020. However, despite these profits, La Laiterie du Berger has need for new investments and significant support to continue to boost its operations and secure private sector capital, hence this partnership with the Trade Hub.

“The success of this activity will allow La Laiterie du Berger to demonstrate tangible results to investors and facilitate obtaining additional lines of credit for future expansion,” said Bathily.

Before joining the Trade Hub, La Laiterie du Berger did not have the capacity to source from more than 850 breeders. Thanks to its co-investment grant, it will be able to increase the number of its breeders from 850 to 2,000, which will allow it to collect 5,000 tonnes of high-quality milk throughout the two-year project, which is ending. in November 2023.

The 5,000 tonnes will generate $ 4.5 million in sales and increase the collective income of breeders from $ 600,000 to $ 2 million over the life of the project.

The co-investment partnership will also make it possible to renew the B Corp certification of the socially engaged company and to set up a monitoring-evaluation system to measure the total impact of commercial activities on more than 15,000 traders with whom it cooperates. .

In addition, the project will finance the training of around 1,000 pastoralists in agricultural management, such as livestock management and animal health. In addition, around 155 new jobs will be created at La Laiterie du Berger, in particular for management positions, factory workers and drivers. About 80% of the roles will be for young people and 15% for women.

According to Karl Littlejohn, Acting Director of the Trade Hub, there is a clear need for investment in companies such as La Laiterie du Berger to professionalize activities in dairy production, make it a viable business for breeders, and reduce imports. .

“We are convinced that this USAID-supported partnership will move pastoralists from traditional and subsistence agriculture to income-oriented agriculture and – just as important – encourage private sector investment,” he said. underline.

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