Feeding Management and Extent of Commercialisation among the Smallholder Dairy Farmers in Zimbabwe

  • Tawedzegwa Musitini Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, University of Fort Hare
  • Abbysinia Mushunje Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, University of Fort Hare,
  • Joseph Muroiwa Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, University of Fort Hare,
Keywords: Fodder, pasture, Ordinary Least Squares regression, smallholder farmer, grazing.


This study assessed the effects of grazing and feeding management on the extent of commercialization among the smallholder dairy farmers in Zimbabwe. Using a sample of 225 smallholder dairy farming households selected randomly across 11 smallholder dairy cooperatives in Zimbabwe, data were analysed using descriptive statistics and the ordinary least squares regression method. The study used milk yield as a proxy for commercialization. Farmers whose cows produced higher yield were considered more commercialized than farmers whose cows produced a lower yield. The results indicated that access to better pastures, better feed types, more area under fodder and more feeding frequency positively impact on milk yield. This result indicates that smallholder farmers with better access to enough, appropriate and consistent feed obtain better milk yield from the dairy cows while the poor quality and quantity of feeds are the primary reasons why most smallholder dairy farmers in developing countries like Zimbabwe continue to produce low/uneconomic milk yields. Since purchased dairy feed concentrates are essential in enhancing milk yield, the study recommends that farmers who can afford these should continue using them and where applicable agro-dealers selling these inputs should be supported to establish selling outlets within the farmers reach. However, given the cost of the commercial dairy feeds visa the economic capacity of smallholder milk producers, the study recommends farmer to consider producing their feed by putting more area under fodder than buying commercial feed.


Download data is not yet available.


Afzal, M. (2010). Re-designing Smallholder Dairy Production in Pakistan. Pakistan Veterinary Journal, 30(3), 187–190.
Arias, P., Hallam, D., Krivinos, E. & Morrison, J. (2013). Smallholder integration in changing food markets Smallholder integration in changing food markets. Rome.
Aweke, S. (2017). Major Production Problems of Dairy Cows of Different Farm Scales Located in the Capital City Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Journal of Veterinary Science & Technology, 08(06), 6–11.
Chamboko, T. & Mwakiwa, E. (2016). A review of smallholder dairy development in Zimbabwe from 1983 to 2013: The effect of policies. Livestock Research for Rural Development, 28(6), 18.
Dube, L. & Guveya, E. (2016). Determinants of agriculture commercialisation among smallholder farmers in Manicaland and Masvingo Provinces of Zimbabwe. Agricultural Science Research Journal, 6(8), 182–190.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). (2010). Status of and Prospects for Smallholder Milk Production – A Global Perspective. T. Hemme & J. Otte, eds. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). (2017). The future of food and agriculture - Trends and challenges. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Gachuiri, C. L., Likuyu, M. N. & Ahuya, C. (2012). Dairy farmers’ Training Manual: Kenya USAID Dairy Sector Competitive Programme,. Nairobi.
Gerosa, S. & Skoet, J. (2012). Milk availability: Trends in production and demand and medium-term outlook. Rome,
Gran, H. M., Mutukumira, A. N., Wetlesen, A. & Narvhus, J. A. (2002). Smallholder dairy processing in Zimbabwe: The production of fermented milk products with particular emphasis on sanitation and microbiological quality. Food Control, 13(3), 161–168.
Gray, D. E. (2014). Doing Research in the Real World. Sage Publication, London
Hanyani-Mlambo, B. (2000). Smallholder Dairy Production and Marketing in Zimbabwe : A socio-economic study of the Gokwe, Rusitu and Marirangwe dairy development projects. Harare.
Israel, G. D. (2003). Determining Sample Size. University of Florida IFAS Extension, 1–5.
Kandjou, M. J. (2011). Technical challenges and agribusiness prospects for developing pro-poor small scale dairy processing schemes in Omaheke region of Namibia. University of Zimbabwe.
Kipkirui, M. & Otieno, M. M. M. (2017). Factors Influencing Milk Production Project Among Small Scale Dairy Farmers in Bomet East Sub County, kenya. International Journal of Latest Research in Engeneering Technology (IJLRET), 03(09), 1–23.
Land O’Lakes. (2010). The next stage in dairy development for Ethiopia: Dairy Value Chains, End Markets and Food Security. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1860.
Marius, L. N., Imbayarwo-Chikosi, V. E., Hanyani-Mlambo, B. T. & Mutisi, C. (2011). Breed preferences, production performance and management of dairy cattle among selected smallholder farmers of Zimbabwe. AGRICOLA, 2–5.
Matekenya, T. (2016). Large Scale Dairy Value Chain in Zimbabwe: A Paper Presented to Division of Livestock Research, DR&SS, (November), 24.
Meja, H. A., Musyoka, T. & Kibaki, P. (2017). Socio-cultural features on commercialization of smallholder dairy value chain growth in Kenya. Global Journal of Dairy Farming and Milk Production, 5(3), 287–298.
Moran, J. (2005). Tropical Dairy Farming: Feeding Management for Small Holder Dairy Farmers in the Humid Tropics. CSIRO, Melbourne: Landlinks Press.
Moran, J. B. (2009). Key Performance Indicators to diagnose poor farm performance and profitability of smallholder dairy farmers in Asia. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences, 22(12), 1709–1717.
Mpofu, N. (2007). Strategies for dairy cattle breeding to ensure sustainable milk production: A paper presented at the national dairy symposium: Resuscitating the dairy industry in Zimbabwe held on
July 5th – 6th 2007. Harare.
Muehlhoff, E., Bennett, A. & McMahon, D. (2013). Milk and dairy products in human nutrition.
Mugweni, L. & Muponda, G. (2015). Small-Scale Dairy Farming in Zimbabwe. International Journal of Economics, Commerce and Management, III(8), 448–466.
Mupunga, E. G. & Dube, D. M. J. (1993). Smallholder dairy development programme in resettled and communal areas in Zimbabwe. Future of livestock industries in east and southern Africa: Proceedings of the Workshop held at Kadoma Ranch Hotel, Zimbabwe, 20-23 July 1992, 165–172.
Netherlands-African Business Council (NABC). (2014). Factsheet - Dairy sector Ethiopia, 5.
Ngongoni, N. T., Mapiye, C., Mwale, M. & Mupeta, B. (2007). Effect of supplementing a high-protein ram press sunflower cake concentrate on smallholder milk production in Zimbabwe. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 39(4), 297–307.
Ngongoni, N. T., Mapiye, C., Mwale, M. & Mupeta, B. (2006). Factors affecting milk production in the smallholder dairy sector of Zimbabwe. Livestock Research for Rural Development, 18(6), 18072–18072.
Omiti, J. M., Otieno, D. J., Nyanamba, T. O. & Mccullough, E. (2009). Factors influencing the intensity of market participation by smallholder farmers : A case study of rural and peri-urban areas of Kenya. World, 3(1), 57–82.
Pandey, G. S. & Voskuil, G. C. J. (2011). Manual on Improved Feeding of Dairy Cattle by Smallholder Farmers: For Extension Workers and Dairy Farmers, (May), 1–52.
Personal, M., Archive, R., Kundurjiev, T. & Salchev, P. (2011). Mp r a , (28953).
Rodriguez, G. (1987). The impacts of the milk pricing policy in Zimbabwe The Dairy Marketing Board : Its role in the price policy, 1–3.
Shumba, E. & Whingwiri, E. (2006). Commercialization of smallholder agriculture. In R. Mandivamba, E. Carl, T. Patrick, M. Munyuki-Hungwe, & P. Matondi, eds. Zimbabwe’s Agricultural Revolution Revisited. Harare: University of Zimbabwe Publications, 631–718.
SNV. (2012). Evaluation of Smallholder Dairy Programmes in Zimbabwe. Harare.
Somekh, B. & Lewin, C. (2005). Methods in the Social Science. Sage Publications, London
Tebug, S. F. (2012). Smallholder dairy farming in Northern Malawi: husbandry practices, constraints and prevalence of major production and zoonotic diseases. University of Kiel.
Topps, J. H. & Oliver, J. (1993). Animal foods of Central Africa. Zimbabwe Agricultural Journal, Technical Handbook number 2. Revised Edition.
United States Agency for International Development (USAID). 2018. Policy brief: enhancing investment attractiveness in Kenya’s dairy sector. Nairobi, Kenya.
How to Cite
Tawedzegwa Musitini, Abbysinia Mushunje, & Joseph Muroiwa. (2019). Feeding Management and Extent of Commercialisation among the Smallholder Dairy Farmers in Zimbabwe. Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies, 11(4(J), 32-42. https://doi.org/10.22610/jebs.v11i4(J).2916
Research Paper