Kerry, the world’s leading taste and nutrition company, has announced details of Project Amata, a new project with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), which aims to enhance the production and availability of safe, sustainable milk for children and communities in the Gitega province of Burundi.
Project Amata (the Kirundi word for milk) builds on the success of the previous WFP and Kerry partnership, Project Leche, which helped Honduran farmers create a safer and more sustainable milk supply, nourishing the health of over 7,500 thousand Honduran children, as well as enhancing economic opportunity and better living conditions for the community.
In Burundi, 65 per cent of people live below the poverty line and chronic malnutrition affects over half the population. Children are often the most affected, as the lack of regular nutritious food and poor dietary diversity makes them vulnerable to infections and seriously undermines their performance at school. Milk is one of the few sources of animal protein available to children in Burundi, but on average children receive just two cups per month – the lowest frequency of milk consumption in east Africa. For the 11 million people in Burundi, these challenges add up, affecting personal development as well as the country’s economic and social development.
The goal of Project Amata is to make safe and sustainable milk more accessible to school children and the community. The project centres around improving food security and nutrition by strengthening the milk value chain and engaging schools and local communities to raise awareness about the important role milk has in curbing malnutrition. Over the course of the three-year program, Kerry experts and WFP staff will work together with farmers and the local community to build milk production capacity. Much-needed equipment and training will be provided, covering key areas of livestock management and milk production. The project will be supported further by a direct financial contribution of US$750,000 from Kerry.
Commenting on the announcement, Edmond Scanlon, Chief Executive Kerry Group, says, “We are delighted to be able to share our dairy, processing and nutrition expertise on Project Amata. This is an example of how Kerry, WFP and local agencies can work together towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger. It also provides a further concrete example of our ‘Better for Society’ social impact programme in action, helping to improve the health and nutrition of people in need.”