Over 3,000 children in Burundi now have access to milk as part of their school meal through a programme run in partnership between Kerry, a world leader in taste and nutrition, and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). Launched in 2020, Project Amata aims to improve food security and nutrition through strengthening the milk value chain and to make safe and sustainable dairy available to communities in the Gitega province, Burundi.

In Burundi, 70% 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. Through the project, each child in the supported schools receives a portion of milk twice a week as part of their school meal. This is often the only source of animal protein these children receive, which is vital for their overall growth and development.

As part of this project, the company is also sharing expertise on dairy farming and processing with Burundian farmers, supporting them to improve their milk quality and quantity, and thus improve food security. The company has leveraged its dairy experts to transfer knowledge across a number of areas, including animal nutrition, artificial insemination and calf rearing. The project is also delivering improvements at a milk processing level to strengthen supply chains and safeguard the quality of the milk delivered to schools and communities.

Now at the midway point, the project has already provided over 3,000 children with regular dairy products as part of their school lunches, purchased almost 200 tonne of milk for schools, and trained over 200 farmers in modern breeding techniques for cattle.

Commenting on the impact of the programme to date Gerry Behan, global president and CEO, taste and nutrition, Kerry, said: “Project Amata has been an extremely worthwhile endeavour and we are proud to help deliver the excellent progress to date that has occurred in spite of the challenges of the global pandemic on the project’s organising efforts. Kerry is pleased and proud to work with the World Food Programme to partner in another excellent project, and we look forward to seeing even more impact from Project Amata