A conference which discusses the importance of the Jersey cow in African farming communities will take place in Malawi this month.
International Development Minister Carolyn Labey will be speaking at the African Jersey Forum Conference (AJF), and plans to visit communities in Malawi where Jersey cows are having a positive impact.
The Royal Jersey Agricultural and Horticultural Society (RJA&HS) lead a dairy development project which work with a milk producer agency to produce more than 90% of Malawi’s domestic milk supply.
The project is funded by Jersey Overseas Aid and the milk produced supports more than 12,000 small holder dairy farmers in Malawi.
According to RJA&HS, the Jersey cow is now the second most popular breed of dairy cow in the world and is found in over 100 countries. The cow is viewed as an asset to small holder dairy farms in East Africa.
Members of the dairy industry, politicians and policy makers will gather at the global conference on 28 June in Blantyre, Malawi, which will also be streamed online.
The AJF is a platform for stakeholders in Africa, with an interest in the Jersey cattle breed, to share knowledge, learn and network with each other.
“Dairy cows play a vital role in many African countries, serving not only as a source of income for smallholder farmers but contributing to the improved health and nutrition of their families and communities and as a driver of economic development,” said Deputy Carolyn Labey.
She said: “As a centre of dairy expertise – and home of the Jersey breed – we are uniquely well-placed to assist farmers, charities, cooperatives, extension workers and national governments with improving the quality and profitability of milk production.
“As islanders we should be very proud, not only of the Jersey breed, but also of the fantastic work of our partners, including the RJA&HS, and how Jersey’s funding is having such a significant impact on the lives of communities.”
Deputy Labey opened the first conference in November 2021, virtually, which saw around 1,000 participants join.
David Hambrook, head of diary for development at the RJA&HS added: “The plans for the conference are coming together nicely and we look forward to once again uniting those with a passion for the Jersey breed in Africa.”