Less replacement heifers due to poor calf rearing practices

Jettie Veerman, student animal husbandry at the Aeres University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, has done a field survey on calf rearing practices on commercial dairy farms in Ethiopia.

Main objective of the study was to analyse current calf rearing practices on commercial farms in Ethiopia and advice DairyBISS on improvements which can be incorporated in our training programmes.

During her studies, she has specialised in the topic of calf rearing and done similar surveys and undertaken research in post-weaning dips.

Read the full PDF version here.

Four important facts on opportunities in the Ethiopian dairy sector

Ethiopia offers huge opportunities for dairy sector development. With a growing economy and an increasing number of urban middle class consumers, demand for dairy products is expected to rise, making the dairy sector an interesting sector for investors and developers. This practice brief examines the opportunities and challenges for dairy production and marketing. It addresses important facts about the Ethiopian dairy sector that can support future (medium-scale) investors in identifying business opportunities along the dairy value chain and in developing feasible business plans for their investment. Results and data are based on a study in the SNNP region.

Download the full pdf here: Practice Brief – DairyBISS – Important facts about dairy sector Ethiopia – July 2017

Gender assessment of dairy value chains: evidence from Ethiopia

This report presents the findings from a gender assessment of dairy value chains in Ethiopia, which is part of a series of similar studies carried out as well in Kenya and Rwanda.
It aims to formulate country-specific recommendations for Ethiopia, and to contribute to developing general guidelines on how to implement gender sensitive initiatives in the dairy value chain.
The assessment considered:
ƒƒ- women and men’s roles and responsibilities, their different benefits, opportunities,
needs, constraints and challenges along the value chains;
ƒƒ- economic opportunities arising along the value chains, as well as women and men’s capacity to access them;
-ƒƒ factors contributing to reduce gender inequalities in the value chains.

Download full document here

Thesis | Dairy service delivery by lead farms

Download full document here

This MSc thesis on dairy service delivery by lead farms in Ethiopia is written by Gerko Wassink BSc, Master student Development and Rural Innovation, Wageningen UR.


This research examined the role of five lead farms in Ethiopia in the process of increased market orientation and commercialization of small-scale dairy farmers. A lead farm is a relatively large, high-developed farm as compared to the neighbouring small-scale farms. A lead farm tends to serve as a supportive platform to the small-scale farms by delivering services such as milk collection, feed supply, demonstrations and trainings. This research is conducted to evaluate the key mechanisms used by the lead farms in the demand/supply articulation process that may or may not lead to a match between lead farms and small-scale farmers in the Oromiya region of Ethiopia. In addition, this research determines the coordinating role of the lead farms in the dairy value chain. Literature study gave insights into the useful mechanisms (Zijlstra et al., 2015), lead farm models (Christoplos, 2010) and coordinating roles (Poulton & Lyne, 2009). A multiple case study method is used to gain access to the data needed. The data was gathered through interviewing, observations and information artefacts. Remarkable are the differences between on the one hand lead farms in rural areas and lead farms in urban areas at the other hand. The research showed that lead farmers in the rural area use an open approach with a wide range of services based on a cost covering or donor-recipient relationship. The lead farmers in the (relatively) urbanized area use a cost covering or commercial relationship, especially in areas with multiple service providers. The results show which mechanisms, models and coordinating roles a certain lead famer could use to serve small-scale farmers in Ethiopia.

DairyBISS Baseline Report

This baseline report of the Dairy Business Information Service and Support (DairyBISS) project presents the findings of a baseline survey among 103 commercial farms and 31 firms and advisors working in the dairy value chain.  The objectives of the survey were to establish where possible a baseline for impact, outcome and output indicators in order to be able to measure progress over time: during the project and at the end of the project. These objectives of the baseline study also include informing the project on whether it is based on accurate assumptions about how change happens and to further shape the activities within the different strategies of the project.

Download full Document here

End Market Analysis for Meat/Live Animals, Leather and Leather Products, Dairy Products Value Chains

The document tries to describe on the end market analysis of meat/live animals, Leather and leather products and Dairy Products of Ethiopia. The document review the opportunities and challenges to produce and deliver quality livestock products at desired amount for local and export market.

Download the full document here.

Link to publication

Value Chain Analysis for Ethiopia: Meat and Live Animals; Hides, Skins and Leather; and Dairy sub sector.

The document tries to examine and understand three livestock value chains: meat and live animals; hides, skins and leather; and dairy products. While each of the analyses describes the value chain’s under performance and the causes for this, each analysis also identifies opportunities and courses of action to address constraints and performance issues.

Download the full document

Link to publication