Cooperative membership and dairy performance among smallholders in Ethiopia
This study in Food Policy journal assesses the impact of cooperative membership among dairy producers in Selale, Ethiopia. Cooperatives are sometimes seen as being instrumental in poverty alleviation among dairy farmers and can provide a suitable environment for dairy intensification. However, the authors stress that in this case there were trade-offs between cooperative functions. The empirical analysis showed that cooperatives are strong in facilitating technological transformations and commercialization but weak in offering better prices. The authors selected ten impact indicators, ranging from proportion of dairy income to the share of milk production that is processed at the household level. The findings suggest structural trade-offs between different domains of cooperatives’ action. Overall, the study concludes that cooperatives can be efficient business institutions to foster rural development and food security.