Posted By in AgriProFocus Uganda
Posted 11 January 2019 at 03:39

Options and challenges for organic milk production by East African smallholders

(free download of article  until March 2 , 2019 via link: )

This article is co-authored by Gidi Smolders, who as an expert for PUM worked with AgriProFocus in various APF dairy learning labs.  It is an easy to read 11pager with some scenarios for improved crop-livestock interactions.


• Outdoor stay and grazing are major challenges to many organic smallholders with cattle.
• Local resource circulation can integrate dairy cattle into certified organic crop production.
• Involvement of communities for feed and grazing a beneficial option for smallholders.
• A secure market is paramount for developing certified organic milk production.
• Certification comprising whole farms is expected to stimulate animal-crop integration.

Go to full article here

Graphical abstract

CLIVE DREW A useless waste of effort. Anything organic has to be first market-led. and the whole supply chain has to be organic, including handling of raw milk and pasteurization and packaging in  dedicated organic facilities. and it can't work dealing with low productivity small scale producers where the majority of the high cost organically produced milk is consumed at the poor household level. On more technical issues, East Africa has ticks and tick-borne diseases plus other parasite and disease problems with no clinical evidence that "organic concoctions" are suitable remedies and may even expose the smallholder to financial ruin if the cow dies, or becomes severely debilitated. Organic pineapple has little value unless it is cull fruits or fruit peelings and cores. It's highly unlikely that cottonseed cake is organic, given the high pesticide use in conventional cotton - although most pesticides would be denatured during mechanical pressing or solvent extraction - but still considered an unacceptable feed source by the organic movement. In my gut feeling, an organic dairy cow would have to be producing a minimum 15 litres/day over a 300 day lactation period, with an intercalving interval of 420 days and organic milk would have to sell at about x2 the price of conventional milk.  

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