In the Lviv region, female farmers have been learning for four years now how to improve the lives of cows and get more milk. The training takes place within the framework of the program “Development of Dairy Business in Ukraine,” writes “Agro-Center” with reference to Pershyy Zakhidnyy.
The main thing that farmers learn is how to make cows’ lives on a farm more comfortable. They installed fans and large windows in cowsheds, put rubber mats instead of straw and gave cows a permanent access to water. Women note that the cows started giving more milk.
The training was just the beginning. Today, the participants of the program have an opportunity to go to seminars, communicate and share the experience with their colleagues from Canada.
Kristina Maksimets, gender equality coach of the project “Development of Dairy Business in Ukraine” notes that nowadays many young people own dairy farms and it is a positive trend:
“I recommend you to visit farms in the Brody district. There are many young people there. We are accustomed to the fact that cows are kept by elderly people. It’s not the case there.”
This project has been in operation since 2014. It is funded by the Government of Canada that decided to support young female farmers as there is no assistance to small and medium milk producers. During the last 15 years, it was the youth who kept 70-80% of the country’s cows and produced over 80% of milk.
The project provides grants to women under the age of 45. They must own land in Lviv or Ivano-Frankivsk region and be a part of a local cooperative. More than 30 families have received the grant to date.
“In Canada, 99% of milk is sold by farmers through cooperatives. It is simple: in this case, the conditions are not dictated by a large corporation that buys the product, and a producer’s voice is taken into account,”
Kristina Maksimets said that women often refuse to manage the farm. They are accustomed to the fact that they often perform only technical work like milking or feeding livestock, while men go to gatherings or and work in the field.
However, thanks to modern technologies, there are no such problems anymore:
“For example, one doesn’t have to watch their cows on a pasture because there are electric fences. You need to invest money just once and you then you can have this time to yourself, visit a dentist or gynecologist, or just relax,”
said the gender equality coach.