Jersey Tackles Malnutrition in Africa

13 July 2023
A whistlestop tour of two African countries by Deputy Carolyn Labey, Jersey’s Minister for International Development, saw significant boosts for Jersey’s commitment to fighting malnutrition and poverty through its most famous export, the Jersey cow.

In Zambia, Deputy Labey launched Jersey’s first Dairy for Development project alongside Hon. Makozo Chikote, Zambia’s Minster of Fisheries and Livestock and the British High Commissioner, Nicholas Woolley. The project follows a Memorandum of Understanding between Jersey and Zambia that was signed last year. Developed by the Royal JerseyAgricultural and Horticultural Society (RJA&HS) and implemented by ADRA Zambia, the project will benefit over 8,100 small holder farmers and their families (a total of approximately 40,0000 individuals) through improved cattle genetics and production techniques.

In Malawi, Deputy Labey met with Agriculture Minister, Hon. Samuel Kawale, and opened the RJA&HS’ biannual Africa Jersey Forum event which was held in Blantyre, on 27-29 June and attended in person and online by around 500 people. Chronic acute malnutrition and stunting affects more than 1 in 3 children in Malawi, largely because of the lack of access to animal source protein. Jersey’s work through the RJA&HS and Shire Highlands Milk Producers Association (SHMPA) is improving milk yields for over 12,000 smallholder dairy farmers – over 95% of Malawi’s milk producers. By providing training on animal husbandry, and through cross-breeding programmes with the Jersey cow, Jersey is lifting tens of thousands of people out of poverty and providing nutritious milk for an even greater number. During the visit, Deputy Labey was able to engage with key components of the dairy value chain including working dairy farmers and milk collection centres as well as livestock technicians and project staff.

Deputy Carolyn Labey said: “I’m extremely proud of our dairy programmes and to see how our greatest ambassador is improving health and economic outcomes for tens of thousands of poor households. It was a privilege to meet Ministers in both Zambia and Malawi, who share my commitment to developing the dairy sector using Jersey technical expertise and genetics. It really is a great example of the very best of Jersey.

Both events received extensive coverage by national TV and media in Zambia and Malawi (click here for a link to ZNBC Today coverage of the project launch in Zambia).