Integrated Approach for Improving Small Scale Market Oriented Dairy Systems


To develop and evaluate the cost-effectiveness of methodologies for an integrated systems approach to improving the efficiency of small-scale market oriented dairying in developing countries, through the application of appropriate improved technologies in nutrition, reproductive management and disease control.


The first phase will include the conduct of a Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), followed by an Economic Opportunity Survey (EOS) and a Diagnostic and Surveillance Study (DSS). The PRA will be conducted in the selected area with a group of at least 20 target farmers and their families and other stakeholders to investigate the important issues related to dairy development. A sub-set of 10 to 15 farms will then be selected for the EOS and DSS. The EOS will be based on a spreadsheet format developed specifically for the purpose, and will gather baseline information as a reference point for measuring the results of subsequent interventions. This instrument will help farmers to identify the potential economic gains that could be achieved, and will also be used for comparison of farm economics before and after implementation of interventions, or for comparison with control groups of farmers. Based on the results of the PRA and EOS, each Contract Holder will identify the main components to be subjected to detailed investigation involving regular visits to the selected farms for obtaining information, making measurements and collecting samples for laboratory analyses. The analyses will include isotope-based assays for tannins in feeds and radioimmunoassay for progesterone and other metabolic hormones in blood and milk. A set of guidelines and a suitable computer database will be developed to record and organize the field and laboratory data. This phase will conclude when problem identification has progressed sufficiently to permit formulation of integrated intervention strategies.

The second phase will comprise the development and implementation of an integrated intervention strategy, based on the findings of the above surveys and studies, and on a partnership basis with all stakeholders. It will include a full documentation of the costs of interventions and the benefits that accrue in terms of increased output and earnings. After completion of the project, the description of this approach and the methodology for demonstrating clear economic benefits will be made available to national authorities, farmer organizations and industry for use in implementing this approach on a larger scale.


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  • Report of the First RCM, Vienna, Austria, April 2002. [Download pdf]
  • Report of the Second RCM, Asuncion, Paraguay, July 2003. [Download pdf]
  • Report of the Third RCM, Pretoria, South Africa, March 2005. [Download pdf]
  • Report of the Fourth RCM, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 4 - 8 December 2006. [Download pdf]

Project Officer:

P. Boettcher