YAP proposal #126: Small-scale dairy commercialization (Abebayehu Aticho, Ethiopia)

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Fight food insecurity and poverty through sustainable small-scale dairy commercialization in rural Ethiopia.

My name is Abebayehu Aticho, Ethiopian citizen born in 1985. I studied BSc in natural resource management and MSc in soil science at Jimma University and Hawassa University, respectively.

I grew and live in Basketo district south Ethiopia. All of my parents are depends on cattle and crop production on small land (3 ha). This district has sufficient water and forage resources, and very suitable climatic condition for dairy. Also the government extension system provides veterinary and artificial insemination throughout years. However, livestock production system of the district is traditional and indigenous cattle based, which known by poor productivity.

The aim of my project is to establish eco-friendly and profitable dairy in the district. To establish the farm I will purchase crossbreed heifers and use my parents land for shade construction, forage production and other services. As the heifers give offspring, my farm will be grow or expand to medium scale farm within 10 years. Milk and milk products will be sold to the community with reasonable prices. Whereas, the byproduct mainly manure will be used as organic fertilizer for crop production and raw material for biogas production, which will reduce fertilizer cost and minimize tree cutting for fuel wood at household level. The farm also transfers small-scale dairy commercialization technologies practices and experiences to local community.

Ethiopia has over 50 million heads of cattle, and ranked as 1st in Africa and 10th in the world. The shares of cattle production is about 40% of national annual agriculture output. Regardless of cattle population, milk yielding capacity of indigenous cattle is very low (1 – 1.5 liter per day). But, milk demand of the country is increasing throughout years as the consumption by children and young is increased due to the ever growing population. The increased milk demand under current limited supply leads to increase in market price of milk (0.75 –80.85 USD per liter). As the purchasing power of Ethiopians is low the higher prices of milk will reduce the quantity of milk consumed by the children and young. High price of crossbreed heifer (1, 000 – 1,500 USD) and its unavailability in district’s market are the main challenge for starting small-scale commercialized dairy farm in rural areas like Basketo.

I am motivated to start small-scale commercialized dairy business using local demands of milk and milk product of as opportunity. In addition to supplying milk and milk products throughout years, sometimes the farm will supply calves to the local community with reasonable price.

To start this business, I have gathered all the necessary information from veterinary (doctor of veterinary medicines) and animal production experts, availability and price of crossbreed heifers. In my project area the government is providing artificial insemination service and technical dairy management advices for free, and veterinary services with some charge. In addition, land for shade construction and forage planting, and materials for shade construction arranged. Now, I am looking fund to purchase crossbreed heifers and other supplies.

After project implementation, I will measure success of my farm in different ways; 1) productivity- ratio of input supplied and output obtained from dairy, 2) eco-friendly- avoiding dairy farm wastes disposal in village and using manure for fertilizer and biogas production, 3) social valuable- number of peoples use milk and milk products throughout year and peoples adopt dairy technologies, and 4) profitable- difference between money generated from the dairy and expend for dairy farm.

The total amount of money required to start this project is 6, 770 USD. Grant obtained from GFAR will cover 73.85% (5,000 USD) of the total cost and the remaining 26.15% (1,170 USD) will be covered by myself. The amount money required: for land preparation and planting forage 100 USD in April, for carpenter to build shades for cattle and forage 150 USD in May 2016, for water thank purchase 200 USD in June 2016; for purchasing donkey to transport water and forage 250 USD in June 2016; for purchasing four crossbreed heifer 5720 USD (1430 USD per heifer) in June 2016; and for transporting heifers from market area 350 USD. GFAR grant will be used to purchase the heifer.

Blogpost and picture submitted by Abebayehu Aticho (Ethiopia) – j.aticho[at]yahoo.com

The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.


This post is published as proposal #126 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

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5 thoughts on “YAP proposal #126: Small-scale dairy commercialization (Abebayehu Aticho, Ethiopia)

  1. Great idea. This project will minimize the shortage of dairy products around Basketo district. It is also a model project for other young professionals in the regions.
    I strongly recommended this outstanding and smart ideas to help our society.

  2. This is very fertile idea from young with curious minds who think globally and act locally. I know the place where the project is intended, is very comfortable,environmental friendly and a project with multiple purposes. it will bring about significant change with regard to food insecurity.
    Good luck

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