The contribution of Swaziland Dairy Board on dairy farmers’ productivity
This article (PDF) in the Journal of Agricultural Studies aimed to establish the contribution of Swaziland Dairy Board (SDB) policy goals on smallholder dairy farmers’ productivity. The SDB was established to promote increased dairy production to satisfy the domestic and export market. Despite numerous efforts of SDB through its dairy policy goals, Swaziland is failing to achieve self-sufficiency in liquid milk production, and can hardly sustain its local demand. Therefore, this study was performed, using primary data from 120 dairy farmers through the use of a structured questionnaire in the Mbabane sub-region. On average dairy farmers milk 2 cows per day, and each cow yields averagely 10 liters and 13 liters per day for non-SDB and SDB members, respectively. The SDB farmer’s milk yields were higher than non-SDB farmers, although SDB farmers’ milk productivity is still regarded relatively low. Moreover, the results revealed that farmers trained by SDB were practicing more of the recommended animal husbandry practices compared to non-SDB farmers. Factors influencing productivity of milk among smallholder dairy farmers included sex of the farmer, age, dairy sales incomes, number of milking cows, market distance, use of supplementary feed, dairy records keeping and the breeding system. Therefore, local milk production can increase if the stakeholders in the dairy industry can adopt SDB policy strategies, dairy related services and good livestock husbandry practices. Additionally, government should encourage the youth to participate in dairy farming by providing technical, financial and commercial support.