Field studies to evaluate the benefits on milk production of providing smallholder farmers in kenya access to credit to allow shifting of concentrate feeding to early lactation Case Study uri icon

abstract

  • This case study describes a series of studies carried out with smallholder farmers involved in dairy production in the central highlands of Kenya. A previous survey in the region had reported low milk yields, probably due to low to inadequate feed supplies. It was decided to investigate whether this constraint could be removed by arranging for farmers to have access to credit from the cooperatives, to which they sold their milk, so that they could feed higher levels of concentrates to their cows in early lactation.The studies began with an on-station trial to investigate an appropriate level at which concentrates could be reallocated so that all concentrates could be fed during the early part of lactation rather than throughout. This was followed by a cross-sectional questionnaire survey to determine current levels of milk yield, a 12-month participatory, longitudinal study in which some farmers were offered credit, others not, and finally a further questionnaire cross-sectional survey to study the impact of the intervention a year later. Concurrent with these studies were series of interviews with farmers to obtain information on how they were adopting the new feeding regime.The case study explains how the design of the longitudinal study collapsed when some farmers from the control group started to follow what the others were doing. This resulted in changes in the research process and caused complications in approaches to the statistical analysis.

publication date

  • 2006

keywords

  •  Kenya 
  •  smallholder farmers 
  • concentrate feeding  
  • credit 
  • early lactation
  • milk production 

number of pages

  • 22