News and updates on research on livestock value chains by the International Livestock Research Institute and partners

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Stakeholders discuss results of research on Uganda smallholder dairying

Results from a 2001–2005 indepth study of smallholder dairy farming in Uganda were presented and discussed at two stakeholder workshops held on 25–26 April 2006 in Kampala, Uganda.

The main aim of the study was to improve the contribution of smallholder dairying to the sustainable livelihoods of resource-poor farmers in Uganda through a better understanding of dairy production systems.

The presentations given at the workshops, including main results, discussions and recommendations are available at the project website.

Selected stakeholder reactions to the project's results

Some development organizations promote the intensification of dairy farming irrespective of circumstances, but it is not always appropriate. 'Send a cow' initiatives are not always good. So this study is very useful to make people understand these issues. Peter Lusembo, Mukono ARDC

Based on this study, we should be cautious to not always promote one specific type of dairy farming. We need to build scenarios that incorporate market, resources and recommend specific feeding systems, based on individual circumstances. The economists should present more results for different conditions. David Balikowa, Dairy Development Authority

Farmers normally do what is right for them so we should be careful about what to do. We need to help them to adapt to their challenges under changing conditions. So recommendations of anything new should build on a better understanding of why farmers choose that system. Rilla Norslund, ASPS, DANIDA

Zero-grazing may be profitable but should not be encouraged everywhere—for NGOs dealing with this, they need to go back and reconsider their strategies. We should find ways to encourage manure use, what incentives should be given? Organic farming promoted may be? If different farms have different challenges, we can use this LP model to give customized advice to the farmers, through the informed extension officers. Cyprian Ebong, NAARI, NARO

We need to simplify these findings to disseminate the information to a wide range of stakeholders, showing positive and negative aspects. Extension agents, NGOs and communities should be informed as they are the ones who need the information. Peter Lusembo