Dairying / Livestock / LIVESTOCK-FISH / Tanzania / Value Chains

Adapting dairy market hubs for pro-poor smallholder value chains in Tanzania

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) and other partners in Tanzania are embarking on a 4-year (2013-2016) research-for-development (R4D) project targeted at improving rural based livelihoods through milk. This comes after the 2012, 1-year successful inception phase of a collaborative research project titled, ‘More Milk in Tanzania’ between ILRI and SUA funded by Irish Aid. These resources support the commitment of Irish Aid to the CGIAR change process and more specifically the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish, where Tanzania’s smallholder dairy is one of the targeted value chains.

A new project office for this new phase was officially launched on 12 March 2013 by the Irish Minister of State for Trade and Development, Joe Costello.

The inception of the MoreMilkiT project enabled the ILRI-SUA partnership to have a better understanding of the policy environment and appropriate entry points to impact on the poor and marginalised; identify and consult a wide range of stakeholders; conduct a situational assessment nationally and value chain assessments (VCA) within identified sites to identify constraints and opportunities; and initiate a process for strengthening the policy environment to better support pro-poor dairying. The findings generated thus far reinforce the validity of the need to focus attention on ‘growing’ the existing informal system of milk production and marketing that the vast majority of cattle producers are part of, so as to achieve wider impact on poor women and men.

The goal of the new R4D phase will be to use dairy market hub (DMHs) approach to allow the marginalised groups to ‘grow’ towards greater participation in the value chain. This will be a significant departure from many of the past and on-going dairy development efforts in Tanzania, that have targeted high potential areas with better-off farms (smallholder and otherwise), ideally to supply the quantities of milk to justify establishing a processing plant.


  • Develop scalable value chains approaches with improved organization and institutions serving resource-poor male and female smallholder dairy households. The outputs here will be vibrant, well organized, well governed and sustainable DMHs delivering demand-led inputs and services. The DMHs to be piloted are: a) DMHs revolving around chilling plants or just accessing them (if under-utilized) through transport arrangements that provide both outputs marketing and inputs and services through check-offs; b) hubs revolving around check-offs for inputs and services provided through milk traders (a similar one is being piloted in Uganda under the East African Dairy Development project); and c) hubs revolving around check-offs for inputs and services provided through cattle traders.
  • Generate and communicate evidence on business and organizational options for increasing participation of resource-poor male and female households in dairy value chains. The key output here will be to ensure that DMHs act as platforms for generating and communicating evidence on business and organisational options for increased participation of resource poor men and women
  • Inform policy on appropriate role for pro-poor smallholder-based informal sector value chains in dairy sector development. The outputs will be to generate and disseminate lessons for sustainable value chain development through evidence-based research, M&E and recommendations for scaling out

Target groups and beneficiaries

The MoreMilkiT project is primarily targeted at pre-commercial marginalised smallholder cattle-keeping men and women who do not currently participate fully in dairy value chains. Pilot sites have been identified in four districts (two in Morogoro and two in Tanga).

The pilot phase to be carried out up to 2016 is expected to benefit about 40,000 people in 6,400 households across four villages. If the project successfully establishes the proof-of-concept for this type of pro-poor DMH-based strategy, wider uptake (e.g. through the EADD project), will result in spread of benefits to the resource-poor across the Tanzanian landscape affecting about 300,000 people in 50,000 households.

ILRI engagement in the dairy sector in Tanzania

Since the 1990s, ILRI has been involved in a number of dairy R4D projects in Tanzania, mainly working with SUA, the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development and the Tanzania Dairy Board. This project as well as other smaller projects such as ‘MilkIT‘, Safe food fair food the new phase of East Africa Dairy Development and Dairy Genetics East Africa will help deliver much needed impact at scale.

For more information about this project contact Amos Omore (a.omore(@)cgiar.org)

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