Elanco Animal Health is continuing its commitment to break the cycle of hunger for those most in need with a $1.5 million matching challenge to help Heifer International fund Phase II of the East Africa Dairy Development Project (EADD). Elanco is the animal health division of Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY), and funding for the matching challenge is generously provided by the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, supporting Elanco’s vision of a world with safe, affordable, and nutritious food for all.
Phase I of EADD was launched in 2008 with a generous grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Building on that success, Elanco joins a variety of partners, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to help fund Phase II. Elanco’s $1.5 million gift is offered as a dollar-for-dollar match with Heifer International donors’ gifts. The matching program provides an opportunity for donations to deliver twice the economic value and accelerate the pace of change toward achieving more food secure communities in East Africa. Full utilization of the fundraising effort that complements donor gifts with an Elanco matching donation will result in $3 million to help fund EADD Phase II.
EADD focuses on empowering small dairy producers to move beyond subsistence toward sustainable livelihoods. Farmers receive training and resources to increase milk productivity on their farms as well as technology for collecting, preserving and transporting milk to the marketplace. The approach addresses practices that boost smallholders’ productivity while creating an infrastructure that supports a sustained market for farmers’ products. Key successes achieved in Phase I include:
179,000 smallholder dairy farmers doubled their household income
27 new milk collection hubs were established
Farmers earned $131 million in milk sales and sold 94 million gallons of milk
Elanco’s matching challenge will help support Phase II, expanding EADD into Tanzania while continuing to work with smallholders in Kenya and Uganda. Phase II efforts will focus on developing sustainable collection hubs, advancing gender equity for women farmers, and replicating successes achieved to date. Smallholders will learn about and engage new technologies and practices around fodder production, alternative energy sources and milk transport systems. Key goals for Phase II include:
Increase current dairy farmer income by at least 100 percent
Increase at least by 30 percent the number of women actively supplying milk at the hub level
Increase at least by 30 percent the number of women suppliers with access to and control over productive assets
Elanco’s support of Heifer International dates back to 2007. In addition to providing the matching challenge, Elanco is exploring opportunities to supplement its financial giving through gifts of technical expertise, time and talent. EADD is part of Elanco’s commitment to break the cycle of hunger in 100 communities around the globe by 2017.
Elanco President Jeff Simmons said the company’s employees are humbled to be part of an effort that is driving positive change far beyond the confines of individual dairy farms. “The positive impact and significance the EADD project creates in the lives of farmers certainly inspires our employees and brings meaning to our work at Elanco. EADD provides dairy farmers in Kenya, Uganda and now Tanzania with an approach that helps them move from subsistence farming to a sustainable, replicable model of creating food secure communities. Farmers are not just producing more milk, they are improving the diets, economies and the quality of life for entire communities,” Simmons said.
“Our work is farther reaching and more effective with Elanco’s partnership,” Heifer CEO Pierre Ferrari said. “We’re truly grateful for their generosity and dedication to ending hunger and poverty. We’re also grateful for their expertise, which helps us protect the health and productivity of the animals that are so important to the families with whom Heifer works.”