The dairy sector in Honduras has the potential to boost childhood nutrition and improve farmer livelihoods. Tetra Pak is working with our customer Lacthosa and the Honduran government to revitalise the dairy sector by providing technical assistance and technology transfer to smallholder farmers.
Food security and nutrition are key challenges in Honduras. According to the World Food Programme, the country has a 68 percent poverty rate and one in four children suffer from chronic malnutrition.
Although agriculture is the most important economic sector in Honduras, the dairy sector is quite unevenly developed (only 35 percent of the yearly milk production is industrially processed). With a low average yield of 3.4 litres per cow per day, cattle are often dual-purpose, which affects farm profitability in the long-term. The country’s average milk consumption is also low.
Building on our experience in other countries, Tetra Laval Food for Development and Tetra Pak Central America & Caribbean have implemented a Dairy Hub project with our local customer, Lacthosa. “We have joined this great initiative and have reaffirmed our commitment to the dairy sector. As a company, we have taken on the challenge of supporting dairy farmers to deliver healthy products to Honduran families.” - Elena Kafie, Vice President, Lacthosa.
Tetra Laval Food for Development has helped Lacthosa conduct initial farm assessments and farmer training. We have consolidated baseline data in three regions, and the project now covers 1,013 farms. In 2018, we aim to increase coverage to 1,240 farms.
For smallholder farmers, the primary value is that Lacthosa will collect their milk and provide them with access to market. “As a milk supplier of Lacthosa, I am grateful for the support and advice provided by the Dairy Hub project. I have witnessed the evolution we have had, which is directly reflected today in delivering better quality milk.” - Héctor Ferreira, dairy farmer.
The Tetra Laval Food for Development Dairy Specialist is currently training Lacthosa’s Extension Service Officers on feed and animal nutrition, milk hygiene, quality, animal health, and reproduction.
“We are very happy about the joint work we have been developing in the Dairy Hub project together with Tetra Laval Food for Development and Tetra Pak. This has contributed greatly to the strengthening of our relations with our milk suppliers. So far, 15 of our Extension Service Officers and more than 100 smallholder farmers have been trained with the knowledge provided by Tetra Laval Food for Development. It is already showing an improvement in the milk quality” - Christopher Millensted, Head of Supplier Development of Lacthosa.
We are aiming to reach a further 200 farms with this initiative in 2018. Over time, this programme will further increase milk quality, quantity, and smallholder farmer profitability. Soon, we hope the dairy development initiative will lead to the relaunch of the country’s school milk programme, therefore improving child nutrition and development.