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The Smallholder Dairy Project

The Smallholder Dairy Project (SDP) carried out research and development activities to support sustainable improvements to the livelihoods of poor Kenyans through their participation in the dairy sub-sector. SDP was jointly implemented by the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development, the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). The project was led by the Ministry with primary funding from the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Project staff worked with many collaborators, including government and regulatory bodies, the private sector and civil society organizations.

Key areas of SDP research and development activities were:

  • Analysis of factors constraining the competitiveness of smallholder dairy farmers, including farm constraints, markets and infrastructure, and information services.

  • Analysis of policies and institutions affecting the dairy sub-sector, and provision of resulting information to support planning needs of stakeholders and policymakers in the dairy sub-sector

  • Analysis of social benefits of smallholder dairy production, including income, employment and child nutrition

  • Participatory development of improved dairy farm technologies, such as improved fodder plants and feeding strategies

  • Development of appropriate technologies and strategies for small scale-milk and dairy product traders

  • Development of extension and training materials to support smallholder farmers and small milk traders, and the development agencies serving them

  • Spatial analysis of dairy systems for improved targeting of technology and investment

By combining the research capacity of KARI and ILRI with the experience and networks of the Ministry, project staff provided high-quality and wide-ranging research information to support smallholder dairy farmers, market agents, stakeholders and policymakers from 1997 to 2005. 

2004 Kenya Smallholder Dairy Project website

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