Impact of cattle dairy farming on small scale farming livelihoods in Northern Province: A case study of Mpika District

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Chijoka, Charles M.
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University of Zambia
Poverty is most prevalent in rural areas where the main activity is agriculture. Dairy cattle production is one of the strategies that the government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, is using to reduce the poverty levels in the rural areas. The overall focus of this study was to establish whether the smallholder dairy farmers' welfare have improved after adopting dairy farming through the use of improved dairy breeds. Specifically the objectives of the study were to determine the income levels of the small scale farmers from dairy to identify and determine the enterprises that contributes to poverty reduction, to determine the employment levels created by dairy farming, and to determine the extent to which dairy farming contributes to access to food. The study was carried out in Mpika district of Northern Province of Zambia. Eight five small scale farmers were sampled. Forty lamers were sampled from the non intervention areas while forty five were from the project areas. A questionnaire was used to collect primary data from the .farmers. Additional data and information was collected through interviews with key stakeholders. The study revealed that the adoption of improved dairy breeds in farming by the small-scale dairy farmers in Mpika has resulted into high levels of milk production leading to an increase in the income levels amongst the beneficiaries of improved dairy breeds. There has also been an increase in access to food, and creation of employment. The use of dairy cattle in rural areas. can lead into the improvement of the social welfare access, thus reduction in the poverty levels. Improved dairy,' breeds can increase the reduction of poverty levels far much faster than the local breeds through high productivity levels of up to 20 litre of milk per cow as compared to the recommended average 5 litres of milk per cow per day.
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Agricultural Industries-- Zambia , Farmers--Zambia--Economic conditions , Dairy farming--Mpika, Zambia