|Strategies for market orientation of small scale milk producers and their organisations. Proceedings of a worshop held at Mogororo Hotel, Mogororo, Tanzania, 20-24 March 1995. (1995)|
|Session 5: Comparative evaluation of dairy marketing systems.|
|Trends in milk marketing for small scale producers in Zambia|
Commercial milk production in Zambia is becoming increasingly part of major aspect of income generation activities. At the time of independence in 1964, this economic activity was exclusively the domain of commercial farmers.
In general, the Dairy sector comprises four sub-sector:
(iii) Small scale emergent
The last two have gradually increased their contribution to the commercial milk production, especially from late seventies. Milk production in the traditional sector is undertaken mainly as a source of nutrition, but the persistent drought in the past 4 years or so, is forcing the natural population to trade milk more for income generation.
The main source of milk is from large ruminants. Consumption of milk from small ruminants is insignificant for livestock population see table 1.
Form 1991, the government has introduced liberalisation of the economy. With this in mind, many parastatals are being privatised. There are more individual organisations being interested in milk marketing, especially at small scale (emergent) farmer level.
The National Dairy Workshop, held in 1992, recommended that in order to increase milk production and quality, strategies for implementing dairy policy be improved as follows:
(a) Collection, quality control, marketing and distribution centres be set-up in tradition sector;
(b) Breeding units be set in priority areas;
(c) Credit facilities to farmers be provided at an affordable interest rates;
(d) Specialised dairy extension staff be trained;
(e) More staff, facilities and funds be committed to dairy farming research;
(f) Strict and strong measures for disease prevention and control be instituted.
It was further suggested that, for sustainability, government should only facilitate the establishment of breeding centres by individuals.
With respect to setting-up collection points, it was suggested that a survey of the market be conducted in the tradition sector, where it is felt the production potential can be further exploited.
These recommendations are in line with the present atmosphere of liberalised economy, where greater participation by the producers is sought.
The trend in milk marketing has been one of increased participation by groups of farmers. With the liberalised economy in place, the need for strengthened farmers' participation is even stronger, especially that aspects of collection and transportation to the nearest selling points may no longer be undertaken by government agencies. However, technical backstopping to the farmers group of small scale producers will be required for same time if sustainability of the new approach is to be achieved.