The marketing of milk, surplus to family and farm needs, improves farm income, creates employment in processing, marketing and distribution, adds value and contributes to food security in rural communities. Marketing of milk is particularly difficult for small-scale producers scattered in rural areas throughout the developing world. The logistics of moving small quantities of a perishable commodity are covered in collection but the marketing aspects require organisational and technical skills and an understanding of quality and safety issues.
The choice of product and technologies must be suited to the scale and location of the operation, while the price, promotion and packaging must meet local requirements. In urban markets in developing countries, the sale of raw milk by informal traders is the most important outlet for milk but the associated health risks must be addressed and steps taken to minimise that risk.
AGA has carried out extensive studies of informal milk marketing in association with national and international institutions. Collaborative programmes for training informal market operators have been carried out and guidelines for organising producer marketing groups and improving quality and packaging are being developed and disseminated. The aim is to ensure that milk and dairy products marketed by small traders are wholesome as well as affordable. Because imports are important in many developing countries, information on markets and specifications are included.