The transforming dairy sector in Ethiopia.
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In the transformation of agri-food systems in developing countries, we usually see rapid changes in the dairy sector. However, good data for understanding patterns and inclusiveness of this transformation are often lacking. This is important given implications for policy design and service and technology provision towards better performing dairy sectors in these settings. Relying on a combination of unique diverse large-scale datasets and methods, we analyze transformation patterns in the dairy value chain supplying Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, the second most populous country in Africa. Over the last decade, we note a rapid increase in expenditures on dairy products by urban consumers, especially among the better-off. Relatedly, the number of dairy processing firms in Ethiopia tripled over the same period, supplying a significant part of these dairy products, especially pasteurized milk, to the city's residents. Upstream at the production level, we find improved access to livestock services, higher adoption of cross-bred cows, an increase in milk yields, expanding liquid milk markets, a sizable urban farm sector supplying almost one-third of all liquid milk consumed in the city, and an upscaling process with larger commercial dairy farms becoming more prevalent. However, average milk yields are still low and not all dairy farmers are included in this transformation process. Small farms with dairy animals as well as those in more remote areas benefit less from access to services and adopt less these modern practices. For these more disadvantaged farmers, stagnation in milk yields and even declines-depending on the data source used-are observed.
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