UK charity LifeBuilder today officially launches an innovative partnership with Indian social enterprise Macro Dairy, giving women from poor rural communities in India an opportunity to pull themselves out of poverty by enabling them to earn a decent income through dairy entrepreneurship.
LifeBuilder and Macro Dairy’s Women Dairy Entrepreneur Scheme provides the women with micro-finance solutions that enable them to purchase their own cows. The women receive training in animal husbandry and access to a state of the art dairy to house and milk their cows while giving them a good price for the milk the cows produce due to Macro Dairy’s direct access to market. Before taking part in the Women Dairy Entrepreneur Scheme the women lived below the poverty line, often having little or no education, no access to land and no viable employment. The women also have the additional opportunity of participating in other programmes such as education and family welfare.
This unique partnership of a charity working with an established business is giving these women an effective way to lift them and their family out of severe poverty without having to rely on hand-outs.
Jaswinder Kaur, one of the beneficiaries of the LifeBuilder and Macro Dairy Women Dairy Entrepreneur Scheme says:
“Before becoming a Women Dairy Entrepreneur I was struggling to make ends meet, with no land or employment I saw little hope. Now this has changed. The money I earn from my cows can ensure my children can attend school and that I can provide for them and my husband. I feel proud of what I have achieved. “
The women’s cows will be kept in Community Dairy Units of between 2-8 acres which are provided by Macro Dairy fully equipped with state of the art cow sheds, European milking parlours, 24 hour veterinary care, best quality fodder and Women Dairy Entrepreneur liaison teams, who work with the women dairy entrepreneurs and with women in the community. The project will work with 3,200 Women Entrepreneurs owning 16,000 cows across the Qila Raipur area near Ludhiana in Punjab, India.
The partnership with LifeBuilder is part of the vision for Macro Dairy, owner Jassi Khangura, explains:
“In rural areas of India it can be very difficult for those with no money to find viable employment. I set up this partnership as I wanted Macro Dairy to be a very unique venture which gives back to the communities it works in – and this is exactly what the partnership with LifeBuilder will support.”
The cost to LifeBuilder in setting up one woman with one cow is £100. Macro Dairy covers the cost of training the women and manages housing the cows, feeding the cows, running the dairy and providing veterinary care for the cows.
Melanie Brown, UK Director of Operations for LifeBuilder says:
“LifeBuilder are very excited by this partnership. We have started on a small scale so far and it is already having big impact. The project has helped over 700 women already and now with LifeBuilder joining MDVL and providing seed grants to these women we hope to enable thousands more to become dairy entrepreneurs.”