Dairy production, processing and marketing systems of Shashemene-Dilla area, South Ethiopia uri icon


  • Two hundred forty dairy producers, both rural and urban producers in the four major towns representing the Shashemene-Dilla area in southern Ethiopia, were selected using a multi-stage sampling techniques, with the objective of characterizing dairy production, processing/handling, marketing systems as well as to prioritize constraints and opportunities for dairy development in the area. To characterize dairy marketing systems in the study area, a Rapid Market Appraisal (RMA) technique was employed. Dairy marketing systems were studied with the help of topical guidelines. Dairy producers were interviewed using a pre-tested and structured formal questionnaire. Two major dairy production systems, namely the urban and mixed crop-livestock systems were identified, and again classified into two categories based on the major crops grown as a cereal crop producing and enset-coffee producing areas. The average family size of urban and rural dairy producers was 7.19 ± 0.26 and 7.58 ± 0.23 persons, respectively. Dairy contributed about half of the income of urban producers but it made up only 1.6% of the total income of families in the mixed crop-livestock production system. Average farm size of households in the mixed system was 1.14 ± 0.99 ha, while more than 97% of the urban producers use their own residence compound for dairying, which is only 200-400 square meters. Average herd size per household in the cereal based mixed system (3.8 ± 0.42) was higher than in the enset-coffee based systems (2.3 ± 0.36). Out of the total herds of urban producers, 32% of cattle were local cows while 19% were crossbred. Husbandry practices like feeding, watering, housing, breeding, milking, calf rearing, waste management, and record keeping were also different between the two productions systems. An estimated total of 9,645,020 litres of milk was produced annually from 4463 small and medium farms in the four towns. The majority of producers (61.7%) in the mixed crop-livestock system process milk at home, while the majority of urban producers (79.2%) produced milk for sale. An informal dairy marketing system was the only marketing system in the area. Different market channels and market outlets were identified for different dairy commodities, butter being the one having the longest channel. Prices of dairy commodities were influenced by different factors like season, access to market/distance from towns, fasting and non-fasting days, festivals and holidays, level of supply vs. purchasing ability of the urban dwellers, and quality of dairy products. Constraints for dairy development in the area included: availability and costs of feeds, shortage of farm land, discouraging marketing system, waste disposal problems, genotype improvement problem, poor extension and animal health services, and knowledge gap regarding improved dairy production systems. The rapid urbanization, subsequent increase in human population and standard of living of the urban dwellers especially the regional town Awassa as well as the rest three zonal towns can be considered as a good prospect for the development of dairy in the area. Dairying in the studied areas can be improved by solving major problems of smallholder dairy producers through services related to feed supply, access to land, good marketing systems, allocating place for waste handling and management and through provisions of veterinary, artificial insemination (AI), credit, extension, and training services at reasonable time and cost. Moreover, as market is the deriving force to the production and productivity of dairying, encouraging private investors to establish dairy processing plants in the area may be an option as a permanent market outlet for both rural and urban dairy producers through an organized milk collection schemes

publication date

  • 2008