Thesis | Dairy service delivery by lead farms

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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.