Exploration of Challenges and Prospects of Dairy Production: A survey study of Mekelle city
Solomon, Mebrahtu G/Silassie
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The study aims at exploring the challenges and prospects of dairy production in Mekelle city. The study was conducted in five local administration of Mekelle city; namely Ayder, Hadnet, Hawlti, Qwhia and Semien. Milk was the most important dairy product marketed in the areas, so, the study was focused only on milk. Dairy Farmers from each local administration were selected using Proportional Probability to Size (PPS).The research were designed with cross sectional survey design for the small holder dairy farmers and census design for the dairy cooperatives. Data were collected from 160 small holder dairy farmers and 20 dairy cooperatives using semi structured questionnaire. Survey data collected from five local administrations was analyzed by using descriptive analysis. The major challenges of dairy production in the area were shortage of feed, high costs of feeds, seasonality of milk demand occurred due to fasting season, access to credit, inadequate land for dairy expansion and preparation of feeds, Artificial insemination problem, shortage of water. The study area were dominated by both urban and pre-urban milk production. The dairy market in the study area uses informal marketing system. The milk producers were not process and handle the milk through utensils. There were also opportunities for milk producers in the study area; rapid urbanization, extensive population growth and change in the living standard of the societies, animal health service, Artificial insemination, extension and training services were among the opportunities. Therefore, dairy processing industries establishment, support for dairy producers and cooperatives, and improving access to services like credit, land, water, feed, etc. should receive due attention in order to improve dairy production in the study area.