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Albert Jaure1

I would like to welcome all the delegates to this workshop on the Regional Exchange Network for Market Oriented Dairy Development in the Eastern and Southern Africa and thanking you for having accepted to come and share your experiences and desires with other participants from different countries in Africa and the World at large. A special welcome to our foreign visitors and wishing you a comfortable and memorable stay in Zimbabwe. After the workshop on Friday the 8th December, it would be nice if all the visitors could stay a little bit longer to get a feel of the Zimbabwean experience at any of our many tourist attractions.

Coming back to the workshop, this week will be very exciting given the varied and rich papers in store for you from the resource persons drawn from all over the world with sound track records in dairy, marketing, processing and rural development.

The six areas of the working program are as follows:

1 Assistant General Manager, Planning and Development in the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) in Zimbabwe

The challenge is to come with a participatory, viable, self-sustaining network which adequately services all the stackholders ranging from the donors, Governments and private agencies involved in research, extension, rural development, marketing and processing as well as Non-Governmental Organisations, consultancy firms, financing institutions, inputs and technology supply companies and the farmers and farmer unions/associations.

With respect to the dairy industry of Zimbabwe, some of the major changes have been in the marketing field following trade liberalization, resulting from the Economic Structural Adjustment. Dairy farmers are coming together on their own or in partnership with institutional investors for purposes of foreword integration into the processing and marketing of dairy products. This has been viewed as a positive development especially by the consumers as it created competition to challenge the traditional monopoly by the then Dairy Marketing Board. The harsh economic environment especially high interest rates make entry barriers into dairy processing and marketing rather too high and dairy farmers have to be careful when venturing into the promised world of high profits including direct marketing, as few such ventures seem to be going over the cliff.

For the rural dairy associations, local demand is not yet a major issue as supply is not yet matching demand for products. The major challenge is to train the farmers in marketing to enable them to understand the rules of the game and empower them with the skills which allow them to develop appropriate marketing mix strategies based on the 4 p's (price, product, place, promotion). To develop smallholder dairy projects which are high market performers, researchers have to address the question of output, product quality and profit rates. Milk centres with low outputs find it difficult to be viable and also difficult to establish a competitive marketing system. The marketing problem then, arises from the fact that cost considerations call for mass production and product standardization so to be price competitive.

Regional Exchange Neatwork for Market Orianted Dairy Developement Workshop, Harare, 4 - 8 December 1995.

Other problem areas in the marketing of the perishable dairy products by smallholder farmers include the following:

On the production side, the main constraints to smallholder dairy production have been the high cost of bought in feed and limited feed availability in the rural areas especially during the dry season. Secondly, the high capital requirements for entry into dairy production are due to the milking infrastructure and the cost of dairy cows now ranging from Z$3 000 to Z$6 000 in Zimbabwe. The increasing frequency of droughts makes smallholder dairy development difficult as it requires clean water and supplementary feed from stover or silage which will be in short supply. Nutrition based research specifically utilizing crop residues and crops grown by smallholder farmers would go a long way in promoting smallholder dairy production on a sustainable basis.

Given the limited resources available in our countries, the concept of establishing a network for purposes of sharing the skills and experiences accrued by the different institutions in the region is a sound one. It is also important to be able to come up with a formula to make the network sustainable and rewarding to the contributing institutions for the efforts made to collect, research and make available relevant dairy information by the different organizations. FAO has already started working on some of the aspects of the network and it is up to us to build-on what has already been covered and avoid duplication of services already available.

I wish to thank our host institution, the Zimbabwe Dairy Herd Improvement Association, particularly Mrs P. Borland for the efficient work done putting together the workshop in such a short notice. Lastly, I wish to thank FAO for sponsoring the workshop and affording us the opportunity to share ideas and all the participants for their time and intellectual property to be tapped, to come up with a useful dairy network.

With these few words, I have the pleasure to declare this workshop open and wish you the best in your deliberations during the course of this week.


Jorgen Henriksen2

(Presentation of a tentative outline of Dairy Network Facility)


The changes in global dairy product markets provide tremendous opportunities for competitive peasant farmers to commercialize their operations. The introduction of structural adjustment programmes in Sub-Sahara Africa also calls for increased efficiency in smallholder dairy production. Most participants in the dairy sector have realized the need for developing market - oriented dairy production and this has led to the proposal for a network facility targeted at promoting market driven dairy production and processing.

This paper outlines the structure, activities as well as a tentative budget of the proposed network facility.

1.0 Introduction

Recent worldwide changes in government policies and in world market prices on dairy commodities are presenting maybe the greatest opportunity ever seen for a sustainable increase in milk production and marketing in developing countries. Past experiences have shown that only assistance within the smallholder production system(s) has any chance of achieving this objective. This background and the future perspective for dairy development in the region is not going to be further elaborated in this paper. However, the following points should be emphasized:

2 Dairy Officer, Meat and Dairy Services, FAO - Rome, Italy.

Figure 1: Value of Dairy Imports and Exports in Developing Countries, 1961–1994.

Figure 1

Source: FAO Statistics

In July 1993, FAO sponsored a Seminar on “Dairy Development Policies and Implementation -Sharing of Experiences between Africa and Asia”, which took place also here in Harare, Zimbabwe. The Seminar was attended by 57 participants from 18 countries, and representatives from five major donor agencies. During the Seminar, it was frequently stressed by the African participants that the former FAO/DANIDA Regional Dairy Development and Training Team, based in Naivasha, Kenya, did an excellent job for dairy development. It was especially emphasized that the RDDTT had provided an efficient network and facilitated exchange of information, research, training and personnel between local institutions and farmers' organizations throughout the region. The FAO/DANIDA programme was closed in 1990 after almost 30 years of very much appreciated interaction with the dairy sector. Since then the countries have experienced a great need for a new facility to secure an efficient utilization of the common experience, training and research capacities within the region. FAO was strongly urged to assist the region to establish and facilitate an appropriate network system for dairy development based on the existing institutions and their capacities.

The need for training opportunities was emphasized also from the smaller countries or countries with a small dairy industry, who for instance do not have or cannot afford to establish the necessary training facilities to meet the countinuous demand for trained manpower. All the countries felt they would benefit from a facility that would make it possible in practice to join training courses in neighbouring countries. A lack of regional contacts for keeping up with standards within the dairy industry was also identified.

It is acknowledged that FAO as an international organisation has a comparative advantage in implementing regional programmes and supporting regional activities. It would also be important to utilize the multi disciplinary resources base of FAO, and of the world wide experiences within AGA division concerning all aspects of animal production and health. The AGA division implements and gives technical guidance to a substantial number of field projects in all regions of the World. Other divisions of FAO would be involved in their specific areas of competence.

The Dairy Group in FAO therefore initiated a refinement of earlier ideas and activities into a proposal for a NETWORK FACILITY FOR DAIRY DEVELOPMENT.

2.0 Outline

This presentation describes how a NETWORK FACILITY FOR DAIRY DEVELOPMENT in EASTERN and SOUTHERN AFRICA could be established and organized and indicates the funds involved.

The intention is not to establish a physical structure, but to establish and maintain an appropriate and sustainable network system based on human resources.

The Dairy Group in FAO HQs would be the responsible focal point and play the role of facilitator and coordinator, connecting the national institutions and organizations into a regional system promoting and supporting dairy development in all aspects, from milk production, transport and processing, to the consumers, through marketing. Development of the dairy sector should in the long term perspective have to be economically viable, sound in environmental terms and socially acceptable.

It is proposed that the DAIRY NETWORK FACILITY could be set up and operated during a 5 year period with FAO assistance. During this first phase of 5 years it is important that a “Regional Secretariat” is initiated and developed to take over most of the organisational activities, reducing the assistance needed from FAO. The aim would be to transfer the responsibility for running activities and further development and maintenance to a “Regional Dairy Development Committee” with a full secretariat situated within one of the member institutions or organisations. Eventually the secretariat could circulate between the member countries every 2–3 years. The role of FAO would then mainly be technical assistance and less on organisational matters. However, it is foreseen that the DAIRY NETWORK FACILITY would need economical support also after the first phase to be able to continue to play an important role in development of the dairy sector within the region.

It would be an advantage if one or more European institutions could be associated to the DAIRY NETWORK FACILITY for the continuty and further development of the North-South dialogue as well as for long-term participation. This would enhance cooperation for the development and exchange or transformation of technologies and involve the institutions of developed nations in the assistance to the developing countries and their still young and resource poor institutions. FAO would encourage and enhance the participation of institutions and individuals from donor countries providing funds for the realization of the DAIRY NETWORK FACILITY. The participation of regional agencies such as ILRI in all the activities will be encouraged also to promote the development of a sustainable base for regional exchange of information.

The DAIRY NETWORK FACILITY would, in its activities, depend fully on the requirements of the participating countries and that of all the stakeholders in development of the dairy sector. The set-up has to be flexible to accommodate any new development, initiative and country. It is proposed, however, in the beginning, to concentrate on the English-speaking countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, as most of them have a well documented potential for dairy development.

As stressed by the participants during the above-mentioned Seminar in 1993, it is foreseen that one of the important inputs from the DAIRY NETWORK FACILITY would be training, which will be elaborated in more detail below. In general, however, the DAIRY NETWORK FACILITY should influence all levels within the dairy sector and would be programme-oriented in its activities, with emphasis on the smallholder production system(s); farmers involvement in milk marketing; participation of private business entrepreneurs and on an efficient utilization of local resources. The DAIRY NETWORK FACILITY would also encourage and strengthen Technical Cooperation between Developing Countries (TCDC) as one of the most important elements. Institution-building and strengthening is another important tool to be used for the development of a stronger national and regional base of technical and human resources. The immediate beneficiaries would be the milk producer, and the rural population. However, the urban consumer would benefit in having affordable dairy products of good quality, and the whole society in saving foreign exchange for import of goods more essential for the development of the country than dairy products, that can be profitably produced within the country. Moreover, the creation of employment in rural areas might have a decreasing effect on the migration to the rapidly growing urban centres, that are already overcrowded and not able to support the population.

2.1 Activities

The DAIRY NETWORK FACILITY would produce its most important contributions through the following activities:

2.1.1 On Training

- Organize training courses with regional participation of 2–4 weeks' duration in cooperation with the local institution identified within the region to run the course. It is foreseen that up to 6 courses could be run every year on subjects to be decided in annual (or biannual) meetings in a Regional Dairy Development Committee. The subjects would cover all aspects of the dairy industry, from the producer and the adviser and service industry, through the processing industry including private business, to marketing of dairy products involving training and research institutions with links to the dairy industry. Courses would often be of the ‘in-service training’ nature with practicals and demonstrations, however, the methods and contents will of course depend on the background of the participants. The following list of course subjects are only included to indicate the range:

The training should to a large extent, be conducted by local/regional teachers/researchers. However, it is a general experience that input from outside can be a great inspiration and catalyst for future progress. Moreover, it is well-known that it is not possible for individual countries to invite an international expert, because of financial constraints and difficulties in procuring foreign exchange. By means of the DAIRY NETWORK FACILITY the dairy development in the region could benefit from a contribution by a visiting expert, and the regional approach would justify the expenses involved. The intention is therefore to invite one or two speakers from e.g. Asia or Europe, wherever an international recognized expert can be identified within the course subject. Where appropriate, the visiting lecturer should come from one of the associated institutions, as indicated earlier. The detailed course content would have to be developed by an ad hoc committee with members from the implementing institution, the invited and local teachers.

Participants for these training courses would be nominated by their Government and/or other institutions and organizations involved in the dairy sector. The final selection would have to be carried out by the ad hoc course committee and the priority would be to have course participants from several countries and with an appropriate background and position according to the course subject. It would likewise be of high priority to have women participation in all courses. The training should be as practically oriented as possible with study tours to the appropriate local institutions and organizations as well as to producers and dairy factories and other suppliers of input and services;

2.1.2 On Policy

2.1.3 On Information Exchange

The previously mentioned activities will, over the time, build up or further strengthen the human network system based on the human resources involved in dairy development more than on introduced technique. However, it could be appropriate to utilize this human network system with the specific purpose of an 'EASTERN and SOUTHERN AFRICAN DAIRY DEVELOPMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM'. This will require very little extra input and be in line with and support the other activities of the DAIRY NETWORK FACILITY. It would require the identification of dedicated individuals as focal point(s) in each participating country and, where appropriate, some extra computer and communication equipment. It is foreseen that the information network system should initially use computer diskettes as the information media and that the main priority in the first phase would be to inform on dairy development activities and policies; and to distribute national research programmes and results, most of it being 'grey literature' that in the present situation is very difficult to communicate with and to retrieve. If appropriate, a computerized 'Eastern & Southern African Dairy Journal' could be developed, based on input from local research institutions and other organizations with information relevant for regional distribution. The information system would link up to other dairy information system in the World and in particular with FAO's AGRIS data base system.

Whilst it would be true to say that almost any subject under the broad area of milk production and dairy science and technology, as covered in Dairy Science Abstracts, the world's leading data base in this subject area (see Annex 1), could be of interest, the subject coverage and discussions at the Harare Seminar in 1993 gave rise to the production of a list of subjects and subject areas which require special attention and targeting by an establishment of a dairy information system for Africa (see table in Annex 2). Whilst most of the important subject areas are covered, additional areas will undoubtedly come to light, especially since this is a dynamic subject area where changes take place constantly under the influence of economic, technological, organizational and other factors like the rapidly growing urban centres with a corresponding increase for dairy products.

2.2. Anticipated output

In summary, the NETWORK FACILITY FOR DAIRY DEVELOPMENT IN EASTERN & SOUTHERN AFRICA would aim at a long term enforcement of a sustainable dairy development in Eastern & Southern Africa through training and interaction with and strengthening of Government and non-Government institutions or corporations; producer associations and the dairy industry. The expected output is indicated in the following list:

Organization: Strengthening of farmers' organizations in particular. However, strengthening of the total infrastructural organization is important; Linking the rural producer and the urban consumer

Production: Promoting of profitable and sustainable milk production in the smallholder system(s);

Processing: Promoting of an appropriate and profitable level of processing and packaging technology; Strengthening of an efficient management of dairy plants at all levels of sophistication;

Marketing: Respond to the consumer demand for affordable dairy products of acceptable hygienic and nutritious standards and quality; Promotion of milk consumption; Support to the development of a range of products of high market demand;

Service Industry: Promote and assist private local business entrepreneurs to participate in servicing the dairy sector at all levels.

Information: Strengthening of regional exchange - of information, experience and facilities; Promoting stronger linkages to institutes and organizations in countries with a developed dairy industry.

Although training and manpower development activities have a high priority, training per se is not the aim. As demonstrated in the above list of expected output and achievements the training and workshop sessions are seen as the most efficient method for the creation of an awareness and an active information exchange system; for dissemination of the identified avenues for a technically appropriate dairy development that seen in perspective should be economically viable, sound in environmental terms, and socially acceptable. Moreover, through all these sessions it will be possible to accomplish a critical mass of individuals, who will be informed about the integrated approach and therefore in a position to promote dairy development as a tool for rural development.

3.0 Budget Example

The following table 1. with a budget is indicating how the finances for the first 5 year phase could look like for the DAIRY NETWORK FACILITY. This is of course just one possibility and the background and the assumptions are referred to in the following comments to the table.

The costs are based on the assumption that five countries will participate from the beginning. These are at this stage to be seen as indicative only and naturally open for discussion and improvements depending on the activities and services to be included as well as the agreed assumptions.

3.1 Training courses and Workshops

It is anticipated that the courses would be conducted at a local institution based on a “Letter of Agreement” or similar arrangement with FAO, and it is assumed that:

3.2 Policy

Only a minor extra cost is foreseen as most of these activities would be in relation to participation in courses and workshops. However, during the first 5 year phase it is envisaged that there could be a need for an extra 5 round trips to the Eastern & Southern African countries by the FAO HQs coordinator.

3.3. Information Exchange

In each participating country, there should be a Work Station would consisting of a Computer with Printer and Telefax machine and eventually E-mail connection.

3.4. FAO HQ

12 w/m of professional staff time for the first 3 year of the programme. During the last two years of the first 5-year phase the role of FAO/AGAM will gradually be scaled down as the regional secretariat will take over responsibility for the DAIRY NETWORK FACILITY and its activities.

3.5 Biannual Regional Dairy Development Committee Meetings (3 Days)

Travel and DSA for 2 representatives from each participating country.

3.6 Consultancies

The above-mentioned activities will disclose needs for various surveys, studies, small applied research projects, preparation of training and educational material, etc. which could be implemented by especially local institutions and individuals through a “Letter of Agreement”, “Author's Contract” or other arrangements. In special cases input from an international consultant might be appropriate.

Table 1: Proposed Total Budget for the DAIRY NETWORK FACILITY for the First 5 Years (based on five countries)

1 US $
US $
US $
US $
US $
US $
1 training course of 4 weeks 103,100103,100103,100103,100412,400
3 training courses of 2 weeks 1)58,80080,95080,95089,50089,500399,700
2 Workshops of 1 week 2)36,65073,30073,30073,30073,300329,850
Policy Advice (Travel + DSA)30,00030,00030,00030,00030,000150,000
Inform. Exchange (Equipment)100,00025,00025,00025,00025,000200,000
Annual Comttee Meeting12,50012,50012,50012,50012,50062,500
Long-term 3) Fellowships     0
Local Consuls Regional Dairy Dev't Committee, Secretariat40,000 5,00080,000 10,000120,000 15,000120,000 30,000120,000 30,000480,000 90,000
Sundry Expenses10,00020,00020,00020,00020,00090,000

1) Year 1 only 2 training courses of 2 weeks
2) Year 1 only 1 workshop of 1 week
3) To be estimated
4) AGAM would contribute with 75% of the w/m and the 25% would be input form other AGA services and other FAO divisions.



Recent worldwide changes in government policies and in world market prices on dairy commodities are presenting maybe the greatest opportunity yet for a sustainable increase in milk production and marketing in developing countries. Past experiences have shown that assistance within the dairy sector was successful in meeting its objectives only when targeted on the smallholder production system.

In July 1993, FAO sponsored a Seminar on “Dairy Development Policies and Implementation -Sharing of Experiences between Africa and Asia”, which took place in Harare, Zimbabwe. The Seminar attracted 57 participants from 18 countries, and representatives from five major donor agencies. During the Seminar, it was frequently stressed by the African participants that the former FAO/DANIDA Regional Dairy Development and Training Team for English-speaking countries in Africa, had made a significant contribution for dairy development. It was especially emphasized that the RDDTT had facilitated an exchange of information, research and training between local institutions and farmers' organizations throughout the region. In 1990, the FAO/DANIDA Dairy Development Programme was terminated after 30 years of appreciated efforts. Since then the countries have experienced a great need for a new facility to secure an efficient utilization of the common experience, training and research capacities within the region. FAO was strongly requested to assist the region in establishing a self-sustaining network system for dairy development based on the existing institutions and personnel resources.

The Dairy Group in FAO (AGAM) has prepared an outline for a NETWORK FACILITY FOR DAIRY DEVELOPMENT in EASTERN & SOUTHERN AFRICA. The intention is to establish and maintain an appropriate and sustainable network system based on indigenous human resources to stimulate and enhance Technical Cooperation between Developing Countries(TCDC), and to strengthen and support institution building to develop a stronger local human and technical resource base. The Dairy Group would be responsible for developing the concept and play the role of facilitator and coordinator, connecting the national institutions and organizations into a regional system promoting and supporting dairy development in all aspects, from producer organisations to consumer markets.

The aim would be within 5 years to transfer the responsibility for running activities and its further development and maintenance to a “Regional Dairy Development Committee” with a full secretariat situated within one of the member institutions or organisations. The role of FAO/AGAM would then mainly be technical support and stimulating inter-regional activities. However, it is foreseen that the DAIRY NETWORK FACILITY will need some financial support also after the first phase. FAO would encourage and enhance the participation of institutions and individuals from donor countries. There would be active cooperation with international agencies such as ILRI to encourage their participation in a regional dairy information network.

The members of the dairy network will be encouraged to participate in the planning of regional activities to ensure that the programme reflects the needs and priorities of all stakeholders in their respective dairy sectors. The set-up has to be flexible to accommodate any new initiative or country.

ANNEX 1: Areas of focus for the Dairy Network Facility

Husbandry and milk production
Breeding and milk production
Feeding and milk
Equipment and techniques
Milk recording
Dairy animal health

Butter and butter oil
Dried and concentrated products
Ice cream
Cultured products
Whey utilisation
Milk proteins
Various products
Engineering and equipment
Buildings and services
Cleaning and sterilisation
Disposal of Wastes

Primary production
Distribution and marketing
Processing and utilisation
Dairy statistics

Legislation and standards

Milk and public health
Microbiological aspects
Environmental aspects

Physiology and biochemistry
Mammary gland Lactation



Milk production
Milk processing and products
Other diseases

Chemistry and physics
Milk proteins
Milk-clotting enzymes
Cow milk
Milk of other species
Milk fat and butter
Dried and concentrated products
Other milk products

Dairy research and education


Annex 3

Dairy Development Group in FAO-HQ's Rome
Government Institutions and Corporations
Producer Organisations
Non Governmental Organisations
COORDINATION Facilitating cooperation between national institutions and organisations in the Region
TRAINING A series of 2–4 weeks tailor made courses at training institutions within the region covering agreed priority topics
POLICY-Through continuous dialogue with Government and non government institutions and organisations and periodic workshops, support preparation and implementation of a dairy development policy which would cover realistic targets for self sufficiency and provide an appropriate environment for the dairy industry to develop
 -Collecting and compiling of data from the dairy industry in the region for better planning and policy implementation
ORGANISATION-Improved and strengthened institutions and infrastructure at all levels - especially at producer level
PRODUCTION-Technical constraints identified and programmes for profitable and sustainable small holder milk production system(s) disseminated
PROCESSING & MARKETING-Improved management of dairy plants with a product range and packaging related to market demand
SERVICE INDUSTRY-Improved supply of services and production inputs from local business entrepreneurs or producer organisations
POLICY-A realistic and long term dairy development policy - including a continuous training programme and research directed towards the smallholder production system.
COOPERATION-Established a “Regional Dairy Development Committee” together with a Secretariat
COST EFFECTIVE-training of trainers and extensionists
BETTER POLICIES-informed decision makers
SUSTAINABLE-based on utilization of local resources - and improvement of existing institutions/infrastructure

Question:Can the Network go beyond Eastern and Southern Africa and include West Africa as well?
Answer:Language barriers were seen as a barrier in involving all Sub-Saharan Africa, so other English countries could be mobilised on a separate platform could be cost effective.
Comment:There could be problems in that the dairy network could duplicate work cattle network and ILRI.
Comment:The dairy sectors in Eastern and Southern African countries are not getting enough attention there is therefore need to consolidate and strenthen the networks. Activities should not be competing but compelementary is the suggested structure more effictive than those of existing networks. Existing networks are more production and else instead there is need to have more focus on marketing issues as-well.
Comment:The establishment of networks may be of interest to the region logistic and budgetary constraints could cripple these networks.


Blessing Mukabeta Maumbe3


While dairy research is still very much concerned with increasing productivity to meet the food needs of the country, it is now time to widen the scope to also focus on achieving sustainability of productivity, protecting the environment and addressing the emerging market needs. Much of the research to address this issue needs to be disseminated to a wider range of users- farmers, NARS, NGOs, academic community and so forth. Greater effort should be directed to overcoming the constraints to moving information quickly and efficiently from research centers to the users. This paper addresses three key areas; importance of networking in dairy sector, the different levels of information needs as defined by the national focal points, the means and methods of information sharing. Some obstacles impeding the development of a Regional Information Exchange in Market-oriented Dairy Development are also presented.

1.0 Introduction

The major role of a market information network is to collect, process and disseminate market data systematically and continuously and make it available timely to users for decision making purposes (Schubert, 1993). Such information must be collected at all levels ranging from producers, suppliers or traders to final consumers. More specifically, market-related data needs to be gathered on among others, prevailing prices, milk supply, milk quality and consumption patterns (i.e consumer elasticities). Meanwhile production-related data will focus on genetic potential, farm ownership and investment, nutrition and input supply.

As the economy develops, agriculture market information takes center stage. According to Schubert 1993, as milk production for the market rises due to economic development, the need for a market information network becomes unavoidable. Before such a market information network can be established, it is also imperative that a concise empirical study of information needs of dairy farmers is conducted. This exercise should also inevitably involve the assessment of the performance of existing information systems and how they are servicing the dairy sector for instance.

In most countries, it is the Ministry of Agriculture who are left to service the dairy sector in terms of research and extension. However, in several cases information collection in the ministry is largely for administrative purposes, with emphasis placed on compilation of annual reports with farmers coming on perhaps as secondary targets. The problem is that due to bureaucratic tendencies and budget related constraints, information bulletins are released late. By the time they are available, they are either out of date of unrelated to the information needs of market participants.

2.0 Criteria for Evaluating the Effectiveness of Market Information

The overall objective of the market-oriented dairy development information network is to yield information that aids decision making in a quick and most efficient manner. Such information in addition to being affordable should possess the following characteristics:

2.1 Relevant

The available market information must be relevant to the information needs of the dairy sector e.g. farmers.

2.2 Meaningful

Information must be clearly specified with respect to location, time and easily understood by users.

3 Lecturer, Agric. Economics, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Africa University, Mutare, Zimbabwe

2.3 Reliable

Information must be accurate and regularly collected and transmitted. Users ought to feel they have gained some form of assistance from the information.

2.4 Timeliness

Information must be promptly available and if possible must be published within a few hours of collection.

2.5 Easily accessible

Eliminate information barriers. Obstacles in accessing available information are a common weakness of market information systems in Africa. It can be argued that only a few existing market information services in Africa fulfill the above criteria entirely. Information networks generating information not meeting qualities specified above are good for nothing. It is important to note that managing information efficiently and effectively would virtually be guaranteeing the above critical requirements to the user.

3.0 The Importance of Establishing Regional Exchange Network for Market Oriented Dairy Development

It is important to heighten awareness of trends in existing and new market experiences in the dairy sector as this will enhance information documentation and wide exchange. The setting up of the network will create and strengthen links between individual dairy farmers/scientists and groups with similar interests and aims in the industry. Many individual scientists and organizations involved in the dairy sector have built up a wealth of relevant experiences but are often not aware of each other's existence. Zimbabwe has 98 percent self-sufficiency in milk (local production as a percentage of local production and imports) implying that she has approximately zero import component on milk. More-over the country's total annual milk production of approximately 225 000 metric tons is the highest in Southern Africa (World Bank, 1991). The country is also well-endowed with well established institutions dealing in dairy issues; what is probably lacking is co-ordination of different on-going activities in the sector.

We must bear in mind that logic requires us to undertake a clear problem analysis so that at the end it becomes easy to define the anticipated activities of the Regional Exchange Network for Market Oriented Dairy Development. From a general viewpoint, I believe some of the negative effects the network should resolve can be broadly summarized as;

The major causes of the foregoing effects are broadly due to:

By so doing strategies or activities for the network can then be formulated through the transformation of cause-effect relationship discussed under problem analysis into a means-end relationship.

The following activities are therefore critical for the network's operational modalities if it is to convert the cause of the problem into means of addressing the same:

  1. Coordinate training and capacity building to develop the needed skills in dairy sciences.
  2. Promote the development of a database at both the national and regional level.
  3. Strive to produce standardized database formats.
  4. Facilitate (in conjunction with donor organizations) national surveys on dairy development and marketing activities.
  5. Disseminate information through publications in journals, newsletters, abstracts, progress reports etc.
  6. Organize workshops, conferences, seminars and study tours.

Once the network is functional in all or most of the above-mentioned areas, one hopes that the problem of weak information structures, poor coordination of on-going activities resulting in duplication, inadequate human, financial and technological capacities and overall poor communication will be minimized if not overcome.

By so doing the network will provide a forum for the exchange of experience and information. The other advantage arises from joint planning which will eliminate duplication of effort thereby ensure progress in the diffusion of ideas and technologies. The facilitation of market transparency will also promote inter-spatial arbitrage

4.0 Identification Of The National Focal Points

There is a need to carefully examine the major players or stakeholders in the dairy sector. This helps in defining the specific roles they are to play within the parameters of defined information needs. These stakeholders are those involved in, or directly or indirectly influenced by decisions of the network in one way or another. Once the stakeholders have been clearly identified then it becomes easy to steer, direct or lead the players willingly and enthusiastically towards the common goal of the network under consideration. Failure to critically identify the stakeholders or the focal points leads to mistrust, lack of cooperation, deliberate disruption with the final effect of an unreliable information system or network.

The following is my suggestion of who should constitute the national focal points for the market and dairy development network in Zimbabwe. (Some variations to the list can be entertained).

  1. Ministry of Agriculture; Department of Research and Specialist Services (Dairy Services Unit/ Henderson Research Station).
  2. National Association of Dairy Farmers (NADP).
  3. Universities: Faculty of Agriculture (Africa University and University of Zimbabwe).
  4. Colleges of Agriculture: Chibero/Gwebi.
  5. Representatives of Smallholder Dairy in Zimbabwe/Dairy Development Programme.
  6. Non-Governmental Organizations.
  7. Dairiboard Zimbabwe Limited and other Private Dairies.

It is important that contact persons at different focal points be persons of diverse background in dairy. These persons could be researchers, academics, farmers, extensionist or information administrators.

4.1 Factors Influencing The Success Of The Network: Implications For Information Sharing

Normally the establishment of any network arises from a perceived need to overcome constraints in effective information delivery. Success of the network will therefore depend on many factors including active collaboration and information exchange between players involved in the industry.

4.1.1 Staff Turn-Over and Continuity

A successful network should ensure that sufficient critical mass of staff is available to work at the national focal points. High staff turnover disrupts continuity of effort. As scientists move they take their contacts with them and this disadvantages the network. The result is that gaps will be created and these will take considerable time to fill.

4.1.2 Research Focus

Applied rather than academic research in dairy should be encouraged. Academic research is criticized from the viewpoint that it is not farmer oriented and most times, its aim is to satisfy academic requirements. Research of a problem solving nature will go a long way in promoting the objectives of the network.

4.1.3 Links with Farmers

This is a fundamental aspect to consider in networking. This can be achieved through on-farm research that keeps the research relevant and it also ensures effective feed-back. Information exchange in agriculture is an integrated process that must begin and end with farmers. Linkage triangle should comprise the farmers, technology transfer agents and agricultural researchers. Linkage problems reduce efficiency, impair performance and diminish the overall impact of agricultural research in general. While there is no recipe for strengthening linkages it is however, important to stress that links are about people, and no linkage mechanism can succeed unless people working in research, in technology transfer agencies, and on farms are motivated to collaborate.

4.1.4 Effective Means of Information Acquisition and Dissemination

Libraries and information centers are essential for the viability of any network. Some common drawbacks in the management of resource centers is lack of trained personnel who can manage and disseminate available information. In addition, poor budgetary allocations to libraries is a major obstacle for them to discharge their duties effectively. Regular budget allocations in addition to donations upon which most libraries in the region depend are pre-requisites for the proper functioning of libraries. Since when budgets are cut, libraries are one of the first resources to suffer. Perhaps it is now time to review if not reverse the inherent objection ingrained in human nature to paying for information. It is an unfortunate belief in many peoples' minds that information is a free good. The paradox is that resource-poor farmers are unlikely to pay.

Nevertheless, formal collaboration at the national level between national libraries and information centers should rank high in terms of information exchange and dissemination. This is an example of Wide Area Networks (WANs) which allow transmission of data between computer systems far removed from each other. Since they cannot be connected by cabling they normally utilize satellite transmission. Technologies have now been developed that support the transmission of data between computer systems that are located on the same premises or that are physically interconnected by a cabling system (i.e. so called Local Area Networks [LAN]). Rapid information dissemination is a function of rational exploitation of the means of communication. Therefore, there is a need for strenous effort on investing in information infrastructure and training.

4.1.3 Appropriate Information Technology (IT)

The focal points will require effective communication facilities. At the focal points, office automation will improve office productivity and facilitate communication at both the national and regional level. Some of the underlying office technologies include telephones, telefax, e-mail and also computer hardware and software to establish databases.

It is important to note that while most research is directed toward less favorable ecosystems or marginal producing areas telephone network in marginal producing areas is poor. Even in heavily populated urban areas, the waiting list for telephone is still quite large. The provision of telecommunication services in remote areas at relatively low cost is a challenge for many countries.

On the other hand, facilities such as CD -ROM should be made available. These will allow information centers or local libraries to retrieve information from a number of international agricultural databases, thus facilitating speedier delivery of information. The ability to provide access to information generated is paramount as paucity of information is commonly blamed on poor accessibility.

5.0 Conclusion

Networks gain their greatest strengths through their deliberate use of synergy. A market oriented information network will go along way in eliminating market defects such as opaque trading practices and poor market infrastructure. One also hopes that such a regional network will dismantle the current trend of unequal access to information. Once functional, the network should promote marketing efficiency in dairy. Minimum bureaucratic procedures must be entertained and the network should strive to continuously respond to the requirements of the market rhythm. However, the long term effectiveness of the network will depend on the stability of staff working in the network or at focal points who will provide continuity in providing a vital service.

Finally, I would like to remind you that irrespective of the nature of information technology used the effective and efficient transfer of research findings in dairy from national centers to extension agents and farmers requires that such information be appropriate to the needs of the recipients, that it can be readily understood by the recipients, and that it is affordable to the recipients, and that it is wanted by the target recipients.


Huggan R.D., Hunt E.D and van den Berg M.C., 1994. “From Research through Information..into Production?”, In Proceedings of an International Symposium on New Information Technologies in Agriculture, Born, Germany, November 10–12, 1993.

Mavuso M and Ballantyne P, 1992. “Managing Information Resources and Services for Agricultural Research in Swaziland”, International Service for National Agricultural Research, Swaziland. pp22.

Reijntjes, C, Haverkort. B and Waters-Bayer A, 1992. Farming for the Future: An Introduction to Low-External Input and Sustainable Agriculture, Macmillan, Leusden, Netherlands. pp250.

SACCAR, 1995. Regional Workshop on Agricultural Information and Documentation Networks, Technical Report, Maputo, Mozambique 24–28 July 1995.

Schubert B, 1993. “Agricultural Market Information Services” In Agricultural and Food Marketing in Developing Countries, selected readings edited by Abbot, J. Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation. Redwood United Kingdom.

Sithole 1995. “Management of Information for Decision Making”, Eastern and Southern African Management Institute, Arusha, Tanzania.

Walshe M.J., Grindle J, Nell A and M. Barchmann, 1991. Dairy Development in Sub-Saharan Africa; A Study of Issues and Options, World Bank Technical Paper Number 135, Africa Technical Department Series. Washington, DC. USA. pp94.

Comment:Dairy Zimbabwe Limited is just one of the processors and is not entitled to a seat on the Network, it has to be grouped with other processors.
Comment:Smallholder farmers are the ultimate beneficiaries of the Network so there is need to involve them in the Network.


Jørgen Henriksen4.


The growth in urban population in Sub-Saharan Africa provides tremendous opportunities for food production and calls for dramatic changes in the food chain. These changes has to be greater in developing than in developed countries. The projected demand for dairy products is estimated to increase by 70% by the year 2010 and to stimulate growth of the dairy sector market or demand driven strategies are needed.

There are several constraints in the development of market oriented dairy sectors for example lack of organisations and infrastructure, shortage of trained and able personnel etc. and facilities targeted at removing these constraints have to be put into place. Participants in the dairy sectors in Eastern and Southern Africa therefore have to work at overcoming these constraints and the development of a dairy network could be a step towards this.

1.0 Introduction

In subsistence agriculture the producer is also the consumer. There is no transport or processing involved and the consumers preference and taste is well known by the very same producer. In “rural economies” more than 50% of the population is involved directly in farming and the primary production of food and agricultural outputs. In the more expanding and diversifying economies the ratio of consumer to producer increases tremendously. The scenario here is that the employment in the food chain after farm gate is 5–10 times that in the primary production. This development can be demonstrated with an example from Canada: In 1900 45% of Canada's population were employed on farm, whereas in 1990 only 3% were still directly involved in food production, but now 25% had found employment in various elements of the food chain. This is the general development seen in most industrialized countries, and it is rapidly under way in the developing countries, with a large variation in the scenarios seen. This change in the food supply system might be even more dramatic in the developing countries than during the industrialization of the now developed countries because of a more rapid urbanisation. The balance is different and so are many of the problems and solutions.

The cities and towns of Africa are growing rapidly (see figure 1), and more rapidly than the rural populations. It is well known that the urban per capita demand for dairy products is higher than rural demand. Predictions for future demand for livestock products are staggering. Winrock (1992) estimate an increased demand from 1990 to 2010 for meat to 120% and for milk to 70%. Therefore, the near future will show a growing demand for dairy products and present both a challenge and an oppourtunity for development of the dairy sector in most developing countries as indicated in figure 2; most-if not all- East African countries have the potential to produce enough milk to satisfy the domestic demand. Many countries have seen a peri-urban sector develop very fast around or in the largest urban centres, responding immediately to the market demand and profiting from the lack of links between the rural producer and the urban consumer. Parallel to this development Tanzania has also seen private entrepreneurs initiate milk collection from Maasai pastoralists living in the vicinity of Dar es Salaam.

4 Dairy Officer, Meat and Dairy Service (AGAM), Animal Production and Health Division, FAO-Rome

Moreover, projections of prevailing trends in food supply in Sub Saharan Africa is demonstrating an enormous increase in food deficit, as indicated in table 1, up to 8 times from 1990 to 2025. Interventions in the dairy sector should be market or demand driven and thus promoting a general economic development; FAO's emphasis is to enhance rural development through assistance to small scale dairy development within a mixed farming system with the objective to improve food security and to achieve sustainable development of agriculture. Development of the dairy sector is an efficient tool in this context as it generates a continuous flow of income, diverse risk, improves utilization of resources, and generates employment also outside the farming community because of the need for collection, transport, processing and marketing. Emphasis should be on the mixed farming system, where the animal component also increases the crop production. However, the pastoral production system also has potential for delivery of livestock products to urban centres depending on the distance to these centres but even more on the market orientation of the pastoral population. Two of the major general constraints should be mentioned here. The first is the lack of organisation and infrastructure. With the small amount of milk from each individual farmer some kind of common action has to be taken for the farmers to achieve the highest possible price for their milk. The more distant the market the more difficult and demanding is the marketing. The second major constraint for developing marketing based on small scale processing is the shortage of personnel trained and able to operate and manage these small units.

Why market orientation? For the farmer, it is a question of generation of income through utilization of crop residues and other available resources for the development of the family. Income is necessary to take part and advantage of progress that would otherwise pass by - like for example schools; doctors; roads; water etc. For the society a market oriented agricultural production would secure food supply to the rapidly growing non-farming community; create employment and promote an economic development and provide import substitution or even products for export. Marketing services are critical to rural as well as urban food security. In the past we have seen many interventions for increasing the production, much less, however, in processing (except for investment projects) and minimal in marketing, transport and other supporting services essential for linking the producer and the consumer.

2.0 Urbanisation and Economic Growth

Urban populations in developing countries are expanding and expected to more than double by 2025 (see figure 3). Moreover, by 2025 it is expected that more than 50% of the world's population will be living in cities of more than one million people. The exodus from rural to urban areas is most prominent in developing countries, as the industrialized countries have already reached this level of urbanization through a continuous development over the last century.

The effects of this urbanization are multiple. Rapidly-growing urban demand will be the major factor in shaping development of livestock production and marketing in the coming years. A significant increase in production, processing and marketing efficiency will be required to meet this rising demand from domestic resources. In the past, livestock development had not adequately taken the urban market into account and the interventions had not been market or demand driven but largely focused on production technology only.

No major studies have been carried out to ascertain what opportunities, challenges or negative impacts urbanisation presents for animal agriculture and associated milk and meat marketing nor for the possibility of food security and food self-sufficiency, which is a priority for most developing countries. Food production is already insufficient to satisfy the needs of most parts of the developing world. For example in Africa, projections indicate a deficit widening from 14 million tonnes of food in 1990 to 125 million tonnes in 2025 (see Tabel 1).

Table 1 Projections of prevailing trends in food supply in Sub-Saharan Africa
YearFood deficit
(million tons)

Figure 3

Figure 3.

Urban markets for food generally require a wide range of products, from expensive value-added foods to low cost commodities for lower income groups. Livestock products fit into the upper end of the spectrum and consumption of these products rises with income. However, the high nutritive value of animal products should not be overlooked as they constitute an important source of vitamin, minerals and amino acids. Animal products should be seen as an important supplement to complement the diet of poor people, which is frequently based on one or two food crops.

Only in few developing countries have the meat and dairy industries reached a state of developement to respond to the enormous challenge of providing safe, nutritious and regular supplies of livestock products to their rapidly expanding urban populations. Many developing countries have not been able to set up handling and processing facilities to cope with the fast pace of development at the urban level. Because they have not been able to convert local agricultural products into suitable foods for distribution in the cities, the food industry has depended increasingly on imported materials or products. Independent small-scale producers lack the economic strength to negotiate favourable terms for their business. Therefore, the means and ways to support farmer's organizations (societies, associations, cooperatives and unions as well as traditional community organizations) will have to be carefully addressed for the future benefit of farmers and the domestic livestock production.

In recent years we have, however, seen a reduced role of imports of dairy commodities; the outlook is that this reduction will continue in the future. There are a number of reasons for the change in the role of dairy imports. Most importantly, there is a reduction in surplus dairy products in Western Europe and USA, because of a change in policy and prices have increased. Food aid in the form of dairy commodities will not be as common and “dumping” of dairy products will occur more infrequently than in the past. A normalized exchange rate and the removal of subsidises in many developing countries has also increased the price on imported goods and made them relatively expensive. A growing interest in local milk production and to supply the market has become evident, although there is still a substantial import of dairy products in many African countries to satisfy the demand, mainly from the rapidly growing urban centres.

The high import has in the past encouraged governments (and donors) to invest in large scale milk production and industrial dairy plants around the major cities to supply the urban population with modern dairy products - Western style. These plants have, however, continued to depend on imported commodities for recombination and in most cases only a small part (in Tanzania less than 1 %) of the total dairy output was marketed through the large commercial processing plants operated by government parastatals. The provision of modern equipment to developing countries (without secured supply of spare parts and other services) has been a most wasteful feature of many development programmes. The system made little effort to promote an increased milk supply from rural small holders to the industrial plants. The traditional sector provided most of the total production. However, virtually nothing was channelled through the commercial factories but marketed and consumed within the local community. The traditional sector has, notwithstanding its major contribution to total milk production, been neglected. The rapidly growing demand in the expanding urban populations presents a great potential for development of the local dairy sector also because increased output will be absorbed by the market and not have a negative influence on the price

The rapidly growing urban populations in developing countries represent a strong demand for meat and milk now and in the future - a demand which could be met by developing the domestic resources in the majority of countries. This would benefit rural development and poverty alleviation through the creation of employment and income within the livestock sector and the service industry. Such an improvement of rural living conditions could possibly prevent, or at least reduce, migration of rural people to already overcrowded cities.

3.0 Demand and Market - the Link Between Producer and Consumer

As already mentioned, it is the rapid urban growth and the even more rapidly growing demand for meat and milk that presents a particular challenge to the livestock sector and the dairy farmers, particularly in preservation and processing of the livestock food products. The future will therefore show a fast growing food industry, which will present the best - and so much needed - opportunity for employment in developing countries. As shown in figure 4, the demand for meat and milk increases dramatically more than is the case for cereals when income is increased by 10 % (from Jahnke, 1982).

Figure 4

Figure 4.

The agro-industry has in the past been located close to or even in urban areas. But the importance of efficient and reliable links out to the production areas have too often been overlooked. An alternative would of course be to locate the industry in a rural setting.

This would again require a good infra-structure, however, it would also provide a number of advantages such as: early preservation (perishability); integration of production and processing; employment in rural areas (discourage urbanisation); diversification - serving rural communities is much less complex than also serving urban centres. The location, however, is critical to viability and efficiency and should be based on the availability of necessary infra structure and on economic reasons rather than political preferences.

The benefits of well developed agro-industries can be listed as follows:

The more distance in time and space between producer, processor and consumer the more critical is the need for safe and sound process and product control; for reliable systems of packaging and for a distribution network. There are serious hazards to human health from food which is inadequately preserved and processed. On the other hand the processing has also to be adapted to the need and requirements of the consumers. To present UHT milk to consumers who by custom boil the milk before consumption is not appropriate, but a result of central processing units prepared for supplying the urban centres and based on experiences from the industrialized countries.

There is now an urgent need for efficient and appropriate food and related agro-industries and distribution network more than ever before to link the domestic production with the dominating markets in the urban areas.

4.0 How to Exploit the Opportunities and Promote A Market Oriented Development - Of the Very Complex Dairy Sector?

It is a generally recognized that government intervention alone is not sufficient. However, there is a need for a political and economic atmosphere promoting the development of the domestic livestock and agro-industries, which means provision of realiable supplies of energy and clean water; access to trustworthy road and/ or rail services; appropriate commodity pricing policies influencing costs of production and competitiveness. There is a need for farmers to organize and participate. To make this possible further development of the human resource is an urgent task. This can be done through tailor made training; promoting and enhancing producer organisations; and through exchange of people from different regions and countries to increase the utilization of the scarce resources. The private industry should play an important role together with the farmers. The main features and factors influencing the dairy sector is schematically illustrated in figure 5. All of these components should be taken into account when preparing a policy for a sustainable, market oriented development of the dairy sector.

Figure 5

Figure 5.

Future interventions would have to encourage a systematic approach to ensure farmers produce what will satisfy market demand. This includes consideration of transporting fresh produce from rural to urban markets to be delivered at a price and in a condition that is acceptable, accessible and affordable by urban consumers - with low and high incomes. It is importantlt is important to integrate effectively production systems and the farmers with the industrial system that embody collection, preservation, processing, marketing and distribution together with the diversity of supplying services. Higher productivity in the primary production must be complemented and sustained by logistically and technologically efficient systems throughout the chain from farmer to consumer.

The strategies would have to relate to:

Marketing provides many social and economic benefits, and only by participating will the producers fully utilize the opportunity for economic growth that is accessible in dairying.

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