COVID-19: How the Dairy Sector Can Support Resilient Food Systems in East Africa

May 28, 2020 | by The SEEP Network

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As COVID-19 continues to disrupt countries around the world, food security and livelihoods are at risk, particularly for Africa’s most vulnerable populations. Dairy presents a unique opportunity to address some of the most detrimental effects of COVID-19, while putting East African food systems on a path toward more resilient, sustainable and inclusive growth.

The dairy sector in East Africa provides vital nutrition for both rural households and urban consumers and employs thousands of women and men along the value chain. In this session, representatives from the Global Dairy Platform, Land O’Lakes Venture37, Bain & Company, and the International Livestock Research Institute discussed COVID-19’s impact on the East African dairy industry, and the importance of dairy in developing resilient food systems that enable Africa to sustainably feed itself. Panelists will share critical actions that must be taken to ensure food security and maintain livelihoods through this crisis. In addition, they introduced the Global Dairy Platform’s Dairy Nourishes Africa (DNA) initiative as an approach for harnessing the power of dairy to drive positive change.

Moderator

Giselle_Aris_bio_photo_white_border.jpgGiselle Aris, Director of Strategic Partnerships and New Ventures, Land O'Lakes Venture37

Giselle Aris is the Director of Strategic Partnerships and New Ventures for Land O’Lakes Venture37, and is the organization’s subject matter expert for financial inclusion and enterprise development. Giselle joined V37 in 2011 as a Technical Lead on a dairy development project in Tanzania and fulfilled this technical role on multiple other dairy development projects in East and Southern Africa before relocating to Washington, DC. Giselle provides technical leadership in the design and execution of V37’s dairy, livestock and crops development projects across Africa, Asia and the Middle East, with a particular focus on advancing economic diversification of smallholder farmers; partnering with farmer-allied agribusinesses; and facilitating private investment in the agriculture sector. Prior to joining Land O’Lakes Giselle spent two years working in India’s dairy sector, where she designed, scaled and managed a smallholder farmer-owned dairy business. She has also worked with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Women’s Campaign International and the U.S. Department of State Africa Bureau.

Speakers

Chris_white_border.pngChris Mitchell, Partner in Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility and Economic Development, Bain & Company

Chris Mitchell is a partner in Bain & Company’s Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility and Economic Development practices, based in Nairobi, Kenya. Chris has worked closely with private and public sector clients on issues related to stakeholder engagement and building inclusive markets, particularly in agriculture and consumer products. He co-authored a report with Acumen titled Growing Prosperity: Developing Repeatable Models® to Scale the Adoption of Agricultural Innovations focused on smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. In addition, he advises clients across a range of industries, including telecommunications, media and technology (TMT), consumer goods, industrials, oil and gas, financial services and private equity. Prior to joining Bain, Chris worked in India with Intellecap, a firm focused on helping social enterprises raise growth capital.

dai_2_white_border.jpgDai Harvey, Program Management Director, Land O'Lakes Venture37

Dai Harvey is the Program Management Director for Land O’Lakes Venture37, providing management and technical oversight for several projects in Africa and the Caucuses. Dai joined V37 in November 2004 as the Technical Manager for a US Government funded dairy program in his home country of Zambia, where he and his team facilitated the growth of small holder production from 5% to over 35% of raw milk production within the formal sector. Dai has over 25 years of livelihood development experience across numerous value chains in Africa, having worked with both private and development actors. He also has considerable experience in market linkages and SME development, integrating the most vulnerable households into formal value chains. Dai is still actively involved in his home farm in Northern Zambia where the herd of Jersey’s is supplying the district towns.

Isabelle_headshot-1-of-1_white_border.jpgDr. Isabelle Baltenweck, Program Leader: Policies, Institutions and Livelihoods, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

Dr. Isabelle Baltenweck leads the Policies, Institutions and Livelihood Program at the International Livestock Research Institute (Nairobi Kenya). She is a development economist with twenty years of post-doctoral experience in agricultural systems in Africa, South and South-East Asia, with a focus on livestock value chains. Starting her career as a development economist with an emphasis on adoption and impact assessment studies in livestock systems, she has increasingly sharpened her skills in gender and social equity research, looking at how women and men’s needs and capabilities differ in terms of accessing and using technologies and practices, also resulting in varied, and sometimes opposite, impact. Her research approach uses in many instances mixed methods approaches, to measure quantitatively impact as well as understanding reasons and drivers of change through qualitative approaches. She has worked at the interface of research and development, with private sector, farmers’ groups, ministries, NGOs and investors.

Jay_white_border.pngJay Waldvogel, Senior Vice President, Dairy Farmers of America

Jay Waldvogel is the Senior Vice President – Strategy and Global Development for Dairy Farmers of America. Jay is responsible for leading DFA’s strategic planning process and supporting DFA’s business leaders in implementing the strategies. He also is charged with guiding DFA’s expanding global activities. Jay has more than 25 years of experience in the global dairy industry and spent more than a decade living and working overseas with leading dairy companies Campina in Europe and Fonterra Co-operative Group in New Zealand. He has held senior positions in finance, operations, marketing, strategy, mergers and acquisitions, sales and general management, including serving as Fonterra’s chief operating officer. Jay currently serves on a number of industry leadership groups and company boards, including as deputy chairman of the Global Dairy Platform.

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