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Milk in the city: profiles and development paths for urban dairy holders in Ethiopia

Eline D’Haene and Marijke D’Haese

Development Southern Africa, 2020, vol. 37, issue 4, 644-660

Abstract: Demand for dairy products is growing fast in urban areas. Due to poorly developed rural infrastructure, urban dairy farms are pivotal in making milk available and affordable in towns and cities. Yet current supply fails to meet the increasing demand. In order to formulate fit interventions that can expand urban dairy production, a detailed understanding of urban dairy systems is needed. Using a cluster analysis approach, we profile 304 urban dairy farms in Mekelle, Northern Ethiopia, along three dimensions: input efficiency, market integration, and resilience towards demand seasonality. Our results suggest five distinctive farm types: surviving farms, processing female farms, young male entrepreneurs, established output-efficient farms, and established output-input-efficient farms. We observe large discrepancies in terms of dairy enterprise’s productivity, profitability, and suitability in future urban policy planning. For each of the identified dairy systems, we sketch potential intervention approaches that can feed into more tailored dairy development programmes.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2019.1689099

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