Sub-regional Office for the Pacific Islands
Smallholder dairy development: Lessons learned in Asia

Smallholder dairy development: Lessons learned in Asia

Publication year: 2009
Version: 2009/2
Published by: RAP Publication

Demand for dairy products in the Asian region has doubled since 1980 and, after more than half a century of declining real prices for dairy products, there are strong signs of a structural change in the global dairy sector that could make it attractive for investment. This offers livelihood and rural development opportunities for smallholder dairy producers in Asia who currently supply three-quarters of domestic consumption needs in a region projected to be the largest growing market over the next decade. There are many successful business models through which smallholder milk producers in Asia have gained sustainable access to markets. However, to date, many of the insights on supporting inclusion of smallholder dairy producers are scattered throughout the literature. Building on two smallholder dairy workshops organized in 2008, this publication presents a compilation of experiences and lessons learned from nine countries in the Asian region. It includes generic characterizations and specific models and factors that have influenced smallholder participation in dairy food chains – both good and bad. It also provides the context for regional growth in the sector and some practical guidelines on appropriate and inappropriate support to the sector. It is hoped that this publication will be useful for dairy stakeholders in the region, up and down the value chain, as they examine opportunities for sector investment and development.