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Transforming Dairy Value Chains in Mozambique
Through a decade of support, learn how Venture37 has contributed to transforming the production, processing, and sales of locally-produced dairy products in Mozambique.

In 2009, there was just one dairy processor with a few carts for selling local dairy products in the town of Chimoio, Mozambique and some locally produced dairy products sold in supermarkets. In the decade since then, Land O’Lakes Venture37 has, with USDA-funding, contributed to substantially expanding the production, processing, and sales of locally-produced dairy products along the Beira Corridor, as far north as Tete and as far south as Maputo. This ranges from large processors offering a choice of dairy products produced from fresh locally produced milk, to micro-processors targeting local niche markets with offerings of pasteurized fresh milk and natural yogurts. Previously, many actors across the dairy value chain in Mozambique experienced challenges with maintaining quality of their products as they are being processed, handled, and distributed to market. One cause of this was due to lack of equipment needed for farmers, processors, and retailers to continue expanding their businesses. This cold chain must be established for quality affordable dairy products to reach local communities who can benefit from receiving nutritious animal sourced foods, such as dairy products.

Building on the work of two other USDA-funded and Venture37-implemented dairy projects in Mozambique, the Mozambique Expansion of Rural Cattle and Dairy Opportunities (MERCADO) project has been expanding access to locally produced dairy products since October, 2016. The program has supported last-mile delivery efforts of bulk aggregators, processors, and retailers to improve cold storage, and has promoted new non-traditional retail outlets allowing entrepreneurs all across the dairy value chain do develop or expand their businesses. In October 2020, MERCADO carried out a targeted survey that captured the impact of the project in expanding access to locally produced dairy products in Mozambique. The questionnaire was administered to 34 enterprises involved in the dairy value chain, the majority in Sofala and Manica provinces and one in both Inhambane and Maputo provinces.

The information received from the questionnaire showed that the project was able to impact the expansion of dairy sector significantly, as seen through the following metrics:

  • 45% increase in volume storage capacity for locally produced dairy products
  • 155% increase in the volume of sales of dairy products across Mozambique
  • 120% increase in the value of sales of dairy products across Mozambique
  • 169% increase in ownership of vertical display fridges by program participants
  • 103% increase in ownership of cooler boxes by program participants
  • 87% increase in ownership of trolleys by program participants

As seen through the metrics and the chart below, MERCADO, through its grants to key actors across the value chain, contributed to a substantial expansion of critical dairy storage equipment across Mozambique. Each piece of storage equipment mentioned below plays a critical role in the dairy distribution cold chain ensuring product reaching customers: 

  • Bulk tanks receive the raw milk before processing;
  • Cold rooms are used to store bulk processed products before distribution;
  • Deep chest freezers are used either for storage of processed product by the micro-processors or storage/retail by larger retailers;
  • Cooler boxes are used for local distribution and for street vending;
  • Trolleys are used for mobile street vending and;
  • Vertical display fridges are used for vending in retail outlets.

Dairy storage equipment has increased substantially due to MERCADO.

As a result of the MERCADO project interventions, main clients of the program — from farmers, who most commonly sell to processors and to individual consumers, to milk processors, who most commonly sell their processed milk products to barracas (small store fronts or kiosks), educational institutions, supermarkets, restaurants, and hotels — are able to distribute and expand products across the country, as highlighted in the map below. 

In Sofala province alone, MERCADO’s support has resulted in over 300 vertical fridges and over 30 mobile vending trolleys readily available and stocked with dairy products processed from raw milk produced by local farmers. Many of these fridges can now be found in local barracas/bancas (small store fronts or kiosks), and school canteens, which traditionally did not sell fresh dairy products. Similarly, the trolleys can often be seen passing through residential and business areas, significantly improving access for local communities of these fresh and cheaper nutritious dairy products. The 155 percent increase in volume of products sold, as well a 120 percent increase in value of sales, has created a steady market for farmers, and greater profits for processors and retailers. Local brands, such as DanMoz Lda., are now gaining market share, capitalizing on the local origin and freshness of their dairy products. The increase and expansion in storage capacity through MERCADO’s work has provided local communities in Mozambique with access to nutritious, quality, locally produced dairy products that were not readily available prior to Land O’Lakes Venture37’s decade-long work in Mozambique.   

Watch more about the MERCADO program’s impact on Mozambique’s dairy sector:



By Gretchen Hanson; Danielle Niedermaier; and Fidel O'Donovan 09/10/2021 #Success Story