Dairy input agri-entrepreneurs’ practices and their effects on inputs uptake by smallholder farmers in Tanzania
RUTH KUNDU1, JAMES RAO2, HILLARY BETT3
1EGERTON UNIVERSITY, AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS AND AGRIBUSINESS MANAGEMENT, Kenya
Dairy is a major sub-sector in most developing countries that are agriculture-based, and smallholder farmers dominate milk production in these developing countries at about 80%. Tanzania is among these developing countries and has the fourth largest cattle herd in Africa with majority of cattle keepers as smallholder farmers. However, dairy productivity per cow has been consistently lower than the potential productivity amid the increasing population. Among the major reasons for this is lower uptake and utilisation of dairy inputs and service technologies. This is despite the existence of public extension services and research extension. Input agri-entrepreneurs are an alternative avenue of dissemination of information on inputs and inputs bundling, as they regularly interact with farmers at grassroots, and this has not been adequately exploited in literature. This study aims to determine the effect of business practices by input agri-entrepreneurs on uptake and use of inputs by smallholder dairy farmers in Kilimanjaro and Tanga, Tanzania. This study will employ a survey research design. Tanga and Kilimanjaro regions have been purposively selected since they are implementation areas of Maziwa Zaidi II project of International Livestock Research Institute. Random sampling method was used to determine the wards where overlap of input and service entrepreneurs and smallholder dairy farmers exist, and samples of smallholder farmers and input agri-entrepreneurs obtained. Systematic random sampling was used to select 780 farmers from these wards with a balance between the members and non-members of producer organisations. A latent class model will be used to determine homogeneous classes of input agri-entrepreneurs basing on the nature of practices they do to increase sales and clientele. These classes, and the farmers’ socio-economic characteristics will be used to explain the uptake of inputs and services by these famers, using the Ordinary Least Squares Method. Findings from this study will influence policy makers to tailor focus to an alternative input market system that promote uptake and utilisation of inputs and technologies, and stakeholders to realign their focus towards alternative efficient channels that will catalyze input uptake and utilisation. This will contribute to improved market participation by dairy smallholder farmers and boost milk productivity.
Keywords: Dairy productivity, developing countries, input agri-entrepreneurs, input uptake, ordinary least squares, smallholder farmers, Tanzania
Contact Address: RUTH KUNDU, EGERTON UNIVERSITY, AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS AND AGRIBUSINESS MANAGEMENT, 536-20115, 20115 Nakuru, Kenya, e-mail: danielaruthkay6290gmail.com