June 2023 Visit to Zambia and Malawi to host the Africa Jersey Cattle Bureau Conference with the RJA & HS. The visit to both Zambia and Malawi was reported in the National media in each of those countries. Jersey is on the map!

Since my last article earlier this summer, I have travelled to remote areas of Africa where my role as Minister for International Development and Chair of Jersey Overseas Aid took me to farms and milk collection centres to monitor and evaluate some of our Dairy projects in Zambia and Malawi.

I was greeted by farmers, most of whom were from female headed households, who JOA support through our Dairy projects. I was able to see and hear first-hand how our projects are changing lives by providing farmers with calves through the artificial insemination programmes, which we partner with the RJA & HS and can therefore add value by drawing from Jersey’s expertise. The milk produced not only provides an income but also nutrition for the farmers families, which in turn enables children to attend school instead of having to forage for food; thus giving future generations greater opportunities for the future. The visit also included meeting the Minister for Agriculture in Malawi for the first time (albeit at 7am on one Sunday morning) and officially launching JOA’s first Dairy project in Zambia after having signed the MOU with their Minister last year. The event was adorned with the most flamboyant and talented African dancers which we were privileged and honoured to be a part of.

To end the very busy schedule, I spoke at the third bi-annual ‘Africa-Jersey Forum’ in Malawi which the World Cattle Bureau and their Chair, Steve Le Feuvre had organised and where one of our greatest ambassadors – the Jersey Cow – played centre stage. The visit to both Zambia and Malawi was reported in the National media in each of those countries. Jersey is on the map!

Professionally, the Dairy projects are one of JOA’s flagship sustainable development programmes, which I am extremely proud to be involved in; but on a personal level coming from a farming background, where on my paternal side, my Great-Uncle William J Labey was one of the four Dairy breeders who set up the world-renowned Jersey Herd Book (the other farmers being John A Perrée, Philip J Ahier and John G Buesnel) and on my maternal side, my Danish Great-Grandfather took the first breed of Jersey cattle to Denmark and my Grandfather later amalgamated all 7 dairies which operated in Jersey at the time, into the co-operative of the Jersey Milk Marketing Board which oversaw the building of the then Dairy at Five Oaks. I therefore feel my work with JOA and our Dairy projects in Africa is somehow building on these foundations.

Anyway, I always feel that a picture speaks a thousand words and so give you these few snaps of JOA’s work in Zambia and Malawi: