NLF project in Ethiopia 2027-2020: Enhancing Quality and Safety of Milk
This project aimed to introduce the Natural Livestock Farming (NLF) 5-layered strategy for improved cattle health in Ethiopia through a pilot study which combines activities at field- and laboratory level. The main objective of this project was to improve milk quantity and quality produced by smallholders in a sustainable manner through the Natural Livestock Farming Five (NLF) layer strategy. Moreover, herbal gardens were developed to enable women to grow medicinal plants that strengthen cattle health.
This has resulted in:
- Empowering women by providing additional income from dairy
- Improving Ethiopian milk testing laboratory capacity
- Enhancing safety and quality of milk in Ethiopia
- Increasing awareness on milk quality, including antimicrobial resistance and prudent antibiotic use.
- Two pilot communities, encompassing 30 households each
- Establishing baseline animal health status & milk quality parameters
- Interventions will be defined by participatory workshops preceeding the farm level trials
- Capacity building of laboratory skills for milk quality at government quality control laboratories
- In depth analysis (base-line and end-line) of milk quality combined with animal health monitoring will reveal the effects of the interventions and their contribution to their improvement of animal health and smallholder livelihood
At farm level, the dairy production has improved (in terms of both milk quantity and quality), as a result of the implementation of the NLF 5-layered strategy. The activities had special emphasis on three of the five elements of this strategy: (1) the use of herbs to cure the most common diseases, (2) improving the care of calves to reduce the high mortality rates, and 3) improving the management, feeding and housing of the dairy cows and their calves. Farmers were surprised to experience that the herbal treatments tested, for example for treating mammary infections, were just as successful as conventional therapy with antibiotics while being more accessible and cheaper to obtain. This has increased their confidence in the possibilities to reduce the use of antibiotics and thus produce residue-free milk.
At laboratory level, the capacity and skills on milk (-product) quality analysis of laboratory personnel was strengthened, after which the milk quality and status of antibiotic residues in milk from community members was determined. This showed that the level of milk residues in the pilot communities was substantially lower than in other communities with similar (zero-grazing) dairy system around Addis Ababa.
At field level the trial is continuing to perform very well, which inspires farmers within and outside the project and has drawn the attention of consumers, policy makers and other dairy projects. More detailed project info here
Strenghtening organic dairy farming
Together with the partners in India and the Netherlands – and in collaboration with Solidaridad – the Trust Dairy project is being developed to strengthen organic dairy farming with approximately 4 million smallholder farmers.
Antibiotic free dairy management
All over the world there are farmers who produce milk with little or no chemicals – and much can be learnt from them.
Ayurvedic herbs against diarrhoea in veal calves
The use of Ayurvedic herbs has been shown to be effective in both dairy cows and calves in India.If such herbs could also be effective to help prevent diarrhoea in calves in the Dutch circumstances (modern farming), it would both reduce the use of antibiotics and increase health and welfare of the calves.
Knowledge of Natural Dairy Farming
Together with the partners in India and the Netherlands – and in collaboration with Solidaridad – the Trust Dairy project is being developed to strengthen organic dairy farming with approximately 4 million smallholder farmers. Funding is being sought through the dairy coopertaives, Solidaridad and the Dutch government.
Developing a PG diploma course on use of medicinal plants
Tamil Nadu University Veterinary and Animal Sciences (TANUVAS) will combine forces with the Dutch Animals & Herbs (Dier & Kruid) working group of NVF, in developing a 1 year Post-Graduate course for Dutch veterinarians on the use of medicinal plants. The course combines direct teaching with on-line course work. Plans are to start the combined course in 2016.
Strengthening herbal product enterprise
Ethno-veterinary practices (EVP) include herbal medicine as well other locally adapted practices in animal health care. In India, TDU (Trans-Disciplinary University) together with TANUVAS (Tamil Nadu Veterinary Science University) have documented, assessed and promoted locally available herbal medicine on basis of Ayurvedic principles.
Need to reduce use of antibiotics in Uganda
The Ugandan farmers are concerned about the effects of the chemicals on biodiversity, soil-, animal-, human health.
Guide to use herbal products
A guide to keep your livestock healthy with herbs and other natural products. The Natural Health guides are available in both Dutch and English and can be found for 4 different livestock sectors: dairy cows, poultry, pigs and veal calves.
The activities of the Natural Livestock Farming network are in line with international policies such as the Global One Health Approach, endorsed by the World Health Organization, the European Union, the World Organization for Animal Health, and the United States Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention.