Monday, July 10, 2017
Startup: Empowering a community with improved dairy value chain.
Startup: Empowering a community with improved dairy value chain.This is the story of a woman that is improving her community with an improved dairy value chain.When Hirut Yohannes Darare opened her dairy processing company, she aimed not only to provide for her family, but also to improve the lives of dairy farmers in her community and across Ethiopia. Hirut Yohannes Darare, founder and general manager of Rut & Hirut Milk Cows Breeding & Dairy Production & Processing PLC, a dairy processing company located in Chacha, Ethiopia. Hirut’s company sources from over 450 local dairy farmers, 95 percent of whom are women. She delved into the industry when she discovered there was a shortage of milk in Ethiopia. She started with 2 cows in addition to her own farm, Hirut began sourcing milk from a handful of her neighbors and distributing it in local markets. When she realized that her cost of production outweighed her revenue, Hirut sought out training opportunities to increase the productivity of her cows and the quality of the milk they produced. After receiving training in cattle and feed management from Land O’Lakes and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Hirut began sharing her new knowledge with the farmers who supplied her with raw milk, helping them to improve their production. As Hirut conducted trainings at farmers’ homes, she couldn’t help but notice that the burden of labor fell almost entirely on women. She said, “The woman cleans the cow, she milks it, she carries the milk to sell and she takes the cow for grazing. All of the work is done by the woman,” she said. Today, Rut & Hirut produces a wide variety of dairy products, including pasteurized milk, 16 types of cheeses, three flavors of yogurt, and three types of butter and cream. source