Determinants of Smallholder dairy farmers' adoption of various milk marketing channels in Chongwe District

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Chikobola, Musaka Mulanga
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University of Zambia
Understanding the factors affecting smallholder dairy farmers' adoption of various milk marketing channels is essential to implementation of dairy marketing liberalization policies in Zambia. Adoption of milk marketing through the milk collection centre channel remains poor among small holder dairy farmers. To investigate some of the root causes, a study on formal milk marketing and the factors affecting its adoption was conducted. Seventy-one (71) smallholder dairy farmers from Chongwe district were both randomly and purposively interviewed. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the adoption decision. The results indicated that continued market access, quantity of milk sold and the seriousness of the buyer, market information and technical assistance packages provided by the milk collection centre were the most important determinants of the adoption of milk marketing through the milk collection centre (MCC) channel. Other factors identified to affect the adoption decision were land tenure system, being a member of a co-operative and the head's experience in dairy and service or professional information. Four milk marketing channels were identified in the district. Of the interviewees 71.8% supplied the MCC, 11.3% sold directly to consumers, 9.9% supplied the supermarkets/processors and 7% sold their milk to the marketers and other retailers. The formal market share (MCC and supermarkets/processors) accounted for 81.7% of the milk marketed in 2007/8. It is therefore recommended that assistance to establish milk collection points and access to markets, educational and training programmes, enhancement of women's participation and establishment of realistic credit facilities should be facilitated. Timeliness of payment procedures by MCCs should also be improved. Producer co-operatives or associations are identified as being essential to dairy development. Dairy farmers need to organize themselves to overcome the problem of collection, transport, processing and marketing of milk. Organization is also important to enhance the bargaining power of the individual small holder to achieve a strong economical and social influence to ensure a fill exploitation of the profitability in their dairy enterprise.
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Milk Trade--Chongwe, Zambia , Dairy farming--Chongwe, Zambia