Chance for All helps improve working conditions and income for Romanian smallholder dairy farmers by enabling their transition from a subsistence farming model to a sustainable and professional farming model—all while helping them reduce their impact on the environment.
The fall of the communist regime led to the collapse of the cooperative system in the dairy sector, leading rural Romania to return to traditional small farming practices. Today, 80% of small farmers own fewer than three cows, and lack expertise and infrastructure, leading to low milk productivity (<10 L/ cow/ day). Most of the milk falls below European standards.
With the support of the Danone Ecosystem Fund, Danone Romania, Open Fields Foundation and Polaris, the Chance for All project builds capacity (Transportable Milk Parlors and a Farmers Association) among local dairy farmers to increase the quality and quantity of their milk, while promoting sustainable farming practices.
Small farmers are given technical training on specific topics. They are gathered into autonomous producers groups in order to facilitate the sharing of material and best practices, as well as cooperating on agricultural tasks such as animal feeding crop growing and harvesting. Farmers have been taught to grow their own crops for animal feeding. This initial step into regenerative agriculture has reduced their costs while maintaining or improving soil health, water retention and biodiversity of the arable lands.
The project also enabled two major investments: mobile milk parlors (Transportable Milk Parlors or TMPs), that are shared between farmers and allow them to milk their cows in the pasture if needed, and new breeds of cattle (through artificial insemination) to increase the size, quality and productivity of herds. The project also supported farmers in building 25 manure platforms to limit their impact on environment and unlock their access to EU grants.
Chance for All promotes and supports family farming and creates expertise and jobs in small communities, while supporting regenerative agriculture. Under the photography, some of the project's ambitions.
ha of land converted to sustainable agriculture