Determinants, Challenges and Prospects of Dairy Production and Marketing
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The study aims at analyzing determinants, challenges and prospects of dairy production and marketing in Mekelle city. The study was conducted in seven purposely selected local administration of Mekelle city: Semen, Hawlti, Hadnet, Kedamay-weyane, Adi-haqi, Ayder and Quhia. Dairy Farmers from each local administration were selected using Proportional Probability to Size (PPS). Data were collected from 200 dairy producing households and cooperative using structured questionnaire, focused group discussion and in depth interview with key informants. Survey data collected from seven local administrations was analyzed by using descriptive and econometric model analysis. The Ordinary least squire econometric estimation technique was employed to identify determinants that affect dairy production. The model result showed that dairy production was strongly and significantly affected by use of improved feed, demand for milk, number of cross breed milking cows, frequency of getting training, access for credit, and education of the household heads. Shortage of feed & its high price, access for credit, seasonality of demand particularly in fasting time and absence of processing industry were the major challenges of dairy production and marketing in the area. Milk was the most important dairy products marketed in the areas. Dairy producers, retailers, farms, cooperatives were found to be the main milk market channel of the study areas. The dairy market in the study area uses informal marketing system, which shows the under development of dairy marketing. Thus, dairy development interventions should be aimed at addressing both dairy production technological gaps and marketing problems. The study shows that there is a high demand for dairy products. Therefore, dairy processing industries establishment, support for dairy producers and cooperatives, and improving access to services should receive due attention in order to improve dairy production and marketing in the study area by all dairy development stake holders.